Underway Again without Boom

After resting up in Barra de Navidad, BEOWULF is underway again, sans boom.

1800 hours. We’ve been underway from Barrade Navidad for 24 hours. Nothing but headwinds of course, which is to be expected.

Boris is winding down, and there was nothing we could see on the Internet indicating any problems for at least a couple of days, by which time we should be far enough north to reduce early-season risk factors to a minimum. In fact, since late last night, water tempuratures have been down in the 77F range – too cold to support (or attract) cyclogenisis – and cold enough that we’re thinking about blankets for sleeping (now where did we stow those?).

Barra is a great hurricane hole – easy entrance, dredged channel with buoys – there’s even a set of range lights leading down the channel. The hotel and marina are lovely, although expensive. But if you have to be stuck somewhere, it is quite pleasant.

Conditions last night upon leaving Barra reminded us why we wanted to get as far as possible up the coast with the fair winds of a few days ago. It was blowing a steady 20 to 28 knots, with very steep seas courtousy of a counter-current – pushing against the waves at a couple of knots. Not pleasant cruising! However, by midnight, the sea breeze reinforcement of the gradient wind had died down, we had (and still have) an adverse current, and the seas/winds were well within BEOWULF’s comfort zone.

We’ve been using the MaxSea chopper to evaluate what to expect over the next 900 miles and the Ocean Experimental model is showing moderate gradient winds – 12-16 knots. This will be reinforced, of course, by the afternoon sea breeze. Our tactic in the past has been to duck in somewhere for six hours each afternoon, let the sea breeze blow itself out, and then continue. However, this has been in boats with less powering ability than BEOWULF, so we may just slow down for comfort when the breeze and waves make up, rather than stopping. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

In the meantime, Cabo San Lucas is 163 miles and San Diego 900 miles over the horizon.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 12, 2002)

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