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Charleston to Provincetown via the Gulfstream

We’re back in Provincetown for another fun sailing season! We’ve completed lot’s of big projects, brought on an awesome new captain, and had a successful offshore passage from Charleston, SC to Newport, RI, then on to Provincetown, MA.

After we tied up all the lingering loose ends, particularly a never ending paint job, we were able to cast off the lines on Thursday May 10th at 9:30AM when we had a weather window that was no longer opposing northerlies. The original forecast for Thursday was very light, so we planned on motoring the first 24 hours. To our surprise, the wind began to fill in mid day and we were able to sail well into the night.

The next day we had a section of funky winds that we motored through for a few hours, but then they filled in all the way to Cape Hatteras. As they were filling in again, we felt ourselves moving faster by the Gulf Stream currents that carry warm Caribbean waters up the US East Coast and then turn back out to sea somewhere between Cape Hatteras and Delaware. Our plan was to ride it as long as possible before getting back to reality with just our own boat speed, so at about the intersection of where Delaware and Newport would meet is where we would turn the boat due north for Newport.

One massive benefit of our latest addition, Captain Craig, is that he is also a chef. Even for offshore passage, which can often be very bare-bones to get the job done, Craig decided to scale things up. We had king crab legs one night, salmon another, and a chicken stir-fry. And let’s just say presentation was outstanding, especially given the rolly circumstances of the ocean waves!

Sailing north and south with the birds often means that we see a lot of creatures doing what they have been doing for centuries – and some of them even like to ride along. On this trip we picked up a small bird for about a day who decided to take a rest on the dinghy. Historically we’ve named them too. The most memorable was “Lucky” who brought us wind when we needed it. Unfortunately this guy disappeared into the night.

Once we finally left the Gulf Stream, which had provided us a very long run with over ground boat speeds of as much as twelve knots, it was extremely noticeable. In addition to losing the favorable current, the temperatures got colder, the winds shifted from south to north, and we got hit with squalls, that brought bursts of heavy rains, winds, and lightening.

Moment steadfastly trudged on in the northern waters and we sailed close-hauled for about 24 more hours until the wind started dying out. That was at 3AM on Thursday morning about 90 miles South of Montauk and we were motor-sailing. As the winds were dying, a large squall came through and simultaneously taking in sails, all of a sudden we heard a WHIR – WHIR – WHIR – BANG! We could only presume that we had run over a line, it got caught in the propeller, then our trusty line-cutter did its job by cutting the line. After the incident, it still seemed that we had a vibration so we kept a close watch the remainder of the trip.

The final day was a motor the whole day as the ocean was completely glass and we arrived into Newport, RI at about 6PM. Prior to our departure from Newport, we had a diver inspect the propeller, and shaft to find that there was no damage – but possibly loose zincs causing the vibration, which we addressed.

After three nights in Newport of regrouping, we moved on to our sail (well actually motor) to Provincetown. As usual, we had to time the tides in Cape Cod Canal to being favorable. Unfortunately, this left us with a 3:30AM departure, just to hit it right, but we got it and are now moored in Provincetown Harbor ready for the weather to warm up and get you out sailing!