Randall Reeves

Unsettled Weather and Monte Reconstruction Begins

30 May

May 28, 2019/Day 235

Noon Position: 39 17N  61 32W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): WNW 5.5

Miles since departure: 30,968

Avg. Miles/Day: 132


Tacked at sunset and again at dawn. Wind came out of the NNW early but has now swung into the NNE and will swing all the way around overnight, just like last night and tomorrow night. We’re crossing traffic–i.e. the latitudes at which lows depart the NE coast and head out to sea. Today’s low was barely noticeable. Tomorrow’s will be strong.

Once bitten twice shy. This coming low is nothing compared to the last, but still, I’m trying ...

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Pay the Piper, Monte

28 May

May 25, 2019/Day 232

Noon Position: 37 08N 60 26W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SE on drogue, 2-3 knots


Overnight, wind veers into the W and diminishes to 20 knots. I get some sleep, but Mo jumps like a startled hare on these seas, and staying wedged into my bunk is a game I lose once an hour.

By dawn wind has swung into the NW and is blowing 20 – 30 knots. On the chart plotter, Mo has passed through a perfect U-shaped course since I streamed the drogue and is now headed slowly SE. And I am relieved at the ...

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Decision Made, Drogue Out

27 May

May 24, 2019/Day 231

Noon Position: 36 45N  60 57W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NW 6 – 7

Wind(t/tws): SSW 20+


4pm. Wind is increasing. The sky grows darker under scudding cloud. Seas are stacking up. And the barometer is still falling 2mb every two hours. I recall what David Burch says in Modern Marine Weather, that a drop of 2mb over three hours implies a strong blow coming.

I’ve made as much precious northing as I dare on the low’s SW winds, and as the day wears on, the scene becomes more intense than my read of the weather suggested....

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Flummoxed by the Coming Lows

25 May

May 23, 2019

Day 230

Noon Position: 36 30N 59 08W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): W 6

Wind(t/tws): NxW 15 – 20

Sea(t/ft): NW 10

Sky: Overcast

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1021

Cabin Temp(f): 70

Water Temp(f): 71

Relative Humidity(%): 50

Sail: #2 genoa and main, two tucks, close reaching.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 112

Miles since departure: 30,587

Avg. Miles/Day: 133

Leg North Miles: 7,428

Leg North Days: 64

Avg. Miles/Day: 116

Though the Pilot Charts suggest my route is a fair one, reality appears to be otherwise. My sense is that I made the turn north too soon, and ...

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Welcome to the North Atlantic

24 May

May 22, 2019

Day 229

Noon Position: 36 36N  6116W

Course: ENE 6

Wind: NNW 20 -25

Sea: NNW 14

Sail: #2, three reefs, close reaching

Noon to Noon miles made good: 115

We’re biting into the underside of our first North Atlantic low. Winds are the stiffest we’ve experienced since Cape Horn, and are made to feel all the more so because I’m trying to reach to the NE in a strong northwesterly. I doused the main at noon, by which time the rail couldn’t keep its head above water. Mo is down to a triple reefed #2 ...

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Steady Wind, Book Repair, Ships

23 May

May 21, 2019/Day 228

Noon Position: 34 48N  62 05W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NxE 5

Miles since departure: 30,370

Avg. Miles/Day: 133


Overnight, a steady wind filled in from the south. Light and weak as gossamer. On deck at 2am with the moon full overhead, I could not feel wind on my face as we made our 2.8 knots to the north.

Today is a different story. We are beginning to feed into a low coming down from the NE. Winds are 15 knots from the SSE. Mo is in lather. Though happy about this, I would be happier if the ...

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Why St. John’s?

22 May

May 20, 2019/Day 227

Noon Position: 33 212N  62 09W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNE 4

Miles since departure: 30,283

Avg. Miles/Day: 133


When I mentioned our slowness in the context of *regression to the mean* in a recent post, I was hoping the mean we finally regressed to would be something like 135 miles a day. In the last week, however, we’ve had only two 100-plus mile days. Mo can crank out 1,100 miles a week without coming up for air, but this week we logged but 651. So our mean just gets meaner and meaner.

We are finally above Bermuda, ...

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A Leap North

17 May

May 15, 2019/Day 222

Noon Position: 26 49N  59 39W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NxE 7 – 8

Miles since departure: 29,836

Avg. Miles/Day: 134

Wind built overnight, and by morning Mo was in full froth, churning out seven and eight knots under twin headsails. Heavy, ominous cloud with pounding rain. Winds peaked at twenty knots, but seas stood right up, producing the occasional creaming breaker down which Mo happily surfed.

We’ve entered the lower limb of a long trough of brisk south and southwest winds that, as of this moment, would take us all the way to St John’s if they held. ...

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Wombat and Nighttime Squalls, Explained

16 May

May 14, 2019/Day 221

Noon Position: 24 28N  59 12W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNW 6

Miles since departure: 29, 692

Avg. Miles/Day: 134

Mo made two and three knots most of yesterday and lay becalmed soon after the sun went down. I put away the sails, had a glass of wine in the cockpit, and admired the stars. Especially one bright object on the horizon to the west, which I did not recognize.

It twinkled like a star, but for whole minutes it stayed right there and did not slip into the sea as it should. Then I saw the shimmer of ...

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A Day of Animals, and Your Comments

13 May

May 11, 2019/Day 218

Noon Position: 20 34N  56 33W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NW 4

Miles since departure: 29,412

Avg. Miles/Day: 135


Wind picked up in the afternoon and stayed moderate (10 knots) all night. Died back with the day.

I think the rest of this leap to St. John’s will be like this: variable. Variable to weak winds for the next 15 degrees of latitude and variable to strong the rest of the way.

A day of animals.

One of the Skua’s returned, proving that the raviolis I fed it and a partner the other day were at least ...

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