The wind in the SW North Atlantic north of the Caribbean remains elusive. I discussed it with Chris Parker of Marine Weather Center last week. Together we came up with three options:
Option A, go now and have wind with some squalls and thunderstorms for a couple days but wind for 3-4 days…then little to no wind for up to a week. Option B, wait a week and see if it’s better or Option C, wait till the ridge is firmly established between Bermuda and the Azores which will allow the trades to reform along my route, but which might not happen until late June. The return of the ESE trades will support a great downwind sail home provided I don’t get smashed by a early season pop-up tropical system. I’m thinking Option B right now. I’m anxious to get going but I can be patient a bit longer.
I sailed back to Elephant Bay last Tuesday, downwind wing and wing with working jib poled out. It was a short sail of about 8 nm. The wind was a light easterly of maybe 8-10 kts giving us about 4-4.5 knots SOG. If I was in a hurry or trying to maximize distance like I would in similar conditions offshore I would have had the main at full hoist and the 670sqft drifter poled out. But I was in no hurry and had a fairly relaxed easy sail. I spent most of the time refining some settings on the Cape Horn Windvane to improve our downwind capability.
I picked up our mooring in Elephant Bay and quickly got the canvas awnings up and sail covers on.
The next couple days were filled with squalls and rain. The cruisers are mostly gone now. Though there are boats in the mooring field the majority are local owned boats, a few cruisers working ashore a bit longer before they head south to Grenada, and a few folks waiting on repairs.
I have spent time reading, making bread, and practicing downloading wx faxes over my shortwave SSB capable receiver to an iPad.
I’m restless and would like to start sailing home but waiting a bit longer for better wind seems the best option for now.