2022 Bermuda Reports

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Course: Offshore Passage Making; Bermuda to Norfolk
Date June 6-16, 2022
Students: Robin Bauer, Charlie Meyers, Andy Uribe, Joe Ziolkowski
First Mate: Captain Tim Cook
Captain Captain Tom Tursi

First Mate Captain Tim Cook and I recently arrived in Bermuda from Norfolk aboard S/V NAVIGATOR and were berthed at Hunters Wharf near the Dowlings Shell station. Our outbound students had left for their homes and we were awaiting arrival of our student crew for the return trip to Norfolk. A day later tropical storm Alex hit Bermuda with a vengeance and we had a wild time riding the wind and waves in back of the wharf wall where several of our docklines parted through during the course of the storm. After a day of this, the storm quickly departed the area and all returned to normalcy. 

On June 6th, our student crew, including Robin Bauer, Charlie Meyer, Andy Uribe, and Joe Ziolkowski, arrived onboard, stowed their gear and we commenced with pre-departure preparations over the next two days. On June 8th the weather forecast looked good with 10 to 15 knots from the south over the next three days and no tropical disturbances indicated; so, on 6/9, with a hale and hearty crew, we departed Bermuda at 1045 EDT. Watch schedule for the cruise is as follows:

  • 12-4 Andy & Joe
  • 4-8 Tom & Charlie
  • 8-12 Tim & Robin.

Skies are partly cloudy; wind 15 to 18 from the south; sailing on reefed mainsail and full genoa. Charlie prepared lunch of turkey and cheese sandwiches with yellow tomatoes because we could not get reds in Bermuda. Joe prepared chicken stew dinner. 

Great sailing since leaving Bermuda! Winds 15 to 20 SE on departure shifting to S and SW. Boat speed averaging 6 knots plus. Making course for Diamond Shoal. Forecast later in week calls for North winds, so we may need to change course more toward Norfolk before then. All crew doing well in spite of the rocking and rolling sailing conditions. Weather this morning is cool and humid but turning sunny. Everyone is enjoying the sailing!! 

Saturday was a rough day at sea with winds SW 25 to 30 and waves 8 to 10 feet making for boat rocking and rolling and very difficult to move around below deck. Slippery footing due to salt spray made for slips, falls and lunges for handholds, but no injuries except minor nicks and bruises. Eventually we struck the Genoa and continued on double reefed mainsail and staysail. This brought boat speed way down and wave bounces to a more manageable level at 3.5 knots in 25 knot winds!! 

Overnight winds were 10 to 15 and we variously sailed or motor-sailed maintaining course to our waypoint at Diamond Shoal east of Cape Hatteras which is 200 miles distant on a bearing of 295M. We had a few rain squalls overnight and this morning but no lightning. We are currently sailing in 15 to 20 knot winds from SW with reefed mainsail, staysail and reefed genoa on a course of 295M at 4 to 5 knots in warm, humid conditions.

Beautiful day with bright sunlight and clear skies. Sailing continues to be great on a course of 295M in 15 to 20 knot winds from SW, but without the 25 knots expected so we had a great sailing day most all day. By evening we made the decision to strike the genoa and motor sail directly toward Chesapeake Bay at Norfolk. 

At 1200 Noon we are about 35 miles from Chesapeake Bay entrance and continue to motor on. Skies are overcast with little wind and we are motorsailing in calm conditions. There has been very little opportunity during the entire cruise for celestial shot practice due to rough weather or cloudy skies, but all had at least a few opportunities to practice and both Robin and Andy took shots for which they completed calculations and plotting with some instructive results. 

Arrived in Norfolk at 10:25 PM on June 14.

Captain Tom Tursi
Little Creek, VA

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