Wednesday 1-Dec, Deltaville VA, cruising day 4: Lazy day, droning and publishing videos before next leg south.
Wednesday was a very relaxing day. There has been a light southerly wind and for 1-Dec its very warm at 17 degC. The departure is still set for tomorrow, and after our aborted departure yesterday, we are already set to go. No further preparation needed. However, we still view the forecast and check for any refinements as we get close to our ETD. And while looking at weather, it was interesting to see the forecast from the European model (ECMWF 25mile), for yesterday’s aborted time window, did playout exactly as it had shown. Which is encouraging for our next getaway plan.
As it is such a glorious and still day, we did contemplate launching the dinghy, going ashore and doing some exploring, given this is our 3rd time anchored in Deltaville without leaving the boat! But neither of us are that keen. We just prefer to chill for once.
But of course, the chilling doesn’t last long. I get stuck into finalizing the next video for YouTube and Oana prepares food for quick re-heating tomorrow.
Before the video editing, I fly the drone. Well, at least we can say we “explored” the area eh 😊 It’s the first time flying off the boat for a while but all goes well. I even took off and landed again on the deck, without the need to catch the drone. The area here is really pretty, especially with the autumn colours still in the trees. I hope I managed to capture it all with the drone camera. I think if the Chesapeake was in Europe, it would be one of the top areas for boat cruising. So many pretty places to see and so very sheltered.
Where we are anchored, we have very good internet from the marina. It’s an opportunity to do a video upload. Uploading the videos to YouTube once we are on the move is always a big challenge. So after our casual morning with coffees and the gentle drone flight, the rest of the day is editing. Like maintenance, it always takes me a while to get into it, but once in the groove there is no distracting me. Luckily, the next 2 episodes are almost complete. Just a last run through needed. Make the voiceover. Add the Benny Hill music, then render and upload. But is still takes me 8 hours to do just the first episode! I tell you, if you are bored in life, just take up video vlogging! Your problems will be solved. Haha.
We anticipate it would likely take all night to upload, but surprisingly, it’s all done in just 2 hours. All done by bedtime. A minor miracle. We even joke that we should stay here more days and finish the other maintenance videos too. But I know where that will go – we’ll end up still here in May, just in time to head back up to Herrington for summer haul out!
Last thing before bed is, again, a check on PredictWind application. The wind forecast is still exactly the same as it has shown for the last few days. Even the ECMWF and the GFS models both agree on the timing of this next weather window. Translated to our passage plan, this means we need to make the 50-degree starboard turn at Cape Hatteras bang-on 9am Friday, which in turn means a midday departure tomorrow for the 150nm leg to the Cape.
Sailing out of the Chesapeake and for the initial part of the 120nm leg, along Virginia/North Carolina coastline, we will be hard on the wind, starboard tack. The offshore winds will be 20-26kts. A bit strong for a first sail, but coming off the land means the sea state should be calm(ish). Let us see!
Midnight should find us level with Kitty Hawk (famous for the Wright Brothers first human flight) when the wind will clock-right and put us onto a beam reach, then further aft, onto a broad reach. All good. Approaching the Hatteras, the winds will continue to clock-right from reach to a deep run.
If we arrive at the Cape Hatteras before 9am the wind won’t have clocked enough, and we would have head winds starting the next leg towards Cape Lookout. And if we arrive after 9am, we would be on a dead downwind to Cape Hatteras and very likely need to gybe before the rounding, and then gybe back again as we round. And gybing in the confused seas around Hatteras is not a healthy prospect. So 9am it has to be. On-the-dot. Do or die!
Ideally, I want to be on a deep starboard run arriving at the Cape Hatteras. Then, when we make the 50 degree right-turn, I want the wind on the beam, not on our nose. I have a lot of “wants” in this passage! The big question is, just how accurate is the forecast timing for that rapid wind shift to happen? Even a 1 hour plus or minus on the 9am deadline will have consequences ☹
All this, plus unknown of new sails, new rigging, lots of other tinkering, added to first time sailing for 18 months, added to December in the Atlantic, makes me very nervous. I try not to show this to Oana, but it’s hard to hide. Let’s just say that while I’m looking forward to this challenge, I’ll be glad when we are safely in Beaufort, and Oana in a state where she still wants to be married to me!