Bahamas to Provincetown Passage, May 2016
After two weeks of enjoying Bahamian Cays, warm waters, and beach side campfires, it was time to get serious and sail offshore for New England. Once our last guest left on the morning of May 17th, we got Moment reprovisioned, fueled, and prepared for our 1000 mile trek to Newport, RI. Our crew members for this trip were Captain Chris, Captain Clay, and Chef Alex.
The first two days of the journey gave us strong East / South East breezes that moved us along quite quickly. As the weather began to take shape in the north, we saw that there was a forecast of strong Northerlies in our way to get around Cape Hatteras. During the time of the pending decision to go in to North Carolina or continue on, we encountered a cable failure on our jib halyard that brought the whole jib down at night in strong breeze (not desirable conditions for a problem to occur!).
With Clay at the helm and Chris on the fore-deck, we scrambled to get the jib on the deck and tied down while getting pummeled with ocean waves over the bow. The intensity of some of the waves over the bow saturated Chris’s foul weather gear inside and out causing quite an itchy situation.
With the pending weather, our jib now on the deck, and a repair that would require someone to go up the mast in heavy seas, our decision to go into North Carolina was made. We held a tack that would take us in the direction of Wrightsville Beach and got settled back into our watch schedule. At about 3am, while Chris was on watch, he noticed the jib washing overboard. On further inspection, the top part of the sail had been dragging along side the boat. If it had gone unnoticed, it could easily have gotten wrapped around the propeller — compiling our current issues! While clipped in, Chris went back on the foredeck, hauled the bottom-paint stained jib back onboard and lashed it extra tight.
About 24 hours later, we pulled into Wrightsville and found an anchorage. The next morning, we had to dinghy a customs officer out to the boat in order to clear us back into the country.
After a couple days rest, sail repairs made and some friends and family visited, we said goodbye to Alex our third crew member and set off off for Newport, RI.
Wind took us along us around Cape Hatteras and up the outer banks. Throughout our trip, there were multiple U.S. warships conducting live fire practice all within close proximity to our path. Fortunately we were not the target! That said, we did take a direct hit in the way of black flies – in droves – just off the Outer Banks! They came onboard and were a nuisance to us all the way to the end.
After Hatteras, as the winds lightened, we did some motor-sailing outward in order to catch some more wind and Gulf Stream. The next day we began to see the effects of Gulf Stream current giving us speeds of 8-10kts. We eventually weened ourselves off the current and road light winds for another day and then had to motor the remaining way to Newport.
During our trip we saw a good amount of wildlife beyond the black fly population. We had an Oriole that stayed with us for a day, dolphins swimming at the bow, jumping in the moonlight and creating bio-luminescent trail as they swam around the boat. There were whales, a sunfish and the occasional seagull.
We arrived in Newport on May 27th to refresh, visit friends and do a crew change so Clay could help sail Momento from Portland, CT to Provincetown.
Early on the morning of May 29th, with only Chris aboard, Moment departed Newport for Ptown. We caught the tides just right in Cape Cod Canal and were able to have sails up in Cape Cod Bay and all the way into Provincetown harbor. A great ending to a journey that was over 1000 miles from the Bahamas.
Interested in sailing offshore with us? contact [email protected] for more details.