Bermuda to Connecticut

Sunday, we spent on liberty, enjoying the sights, sounds and flavors of Bermuda. We took time to fuel up and hit the grocery store for some fresh veggies and Coke. Monday, was up early (George had to catch a flight back to the US), check the motors, and get underway.

Just as we pulled out of the cut protecting St. Georges Harbour, the sun started to rise, silhouetting a cruise ship entering the channel leading to Hamilton. Once on our course to the sea buoy, we passed another inbound cruise ship. So much for a sedate, peaceful island nation.

Once past the 2nd cruise ship, we put her on auto-pilot, heading for deep water. Five miles to the east, we turn NW to 340 Mag.; to the sea buoy just off Montauk. That would be the last we’d touch the helm for the next four days. Wonderful thing these modern electronics; especially interfaced GPS and pilot.

About mid-day we passed a mega-yacht on the reciprocal heading. Hailing him on the VHF, I learned she was 105’ and cruising at 11.5 knots. Even the big boys cruise long distance at full displacement speeds (there’s no way she could carry enough fuel to make a passage at her coastal cruising speeds.)

When we reached the Gulf Stream, it slowed us down to under 5 knots along our track; we’d been doing 7.4 knots or so since leaving Bermuda. Once free of the stream, out speed picked back up to essentially a slack current speed. Winds shifted about from the northwest, to the north, to the northeast and finally, to the south upon arrival on soundings. Waves went from 2’-3’ to over 8’. I tried taking some pictures of the waves, but one wave looks pretty much like another, like another, like another... Never were uncomfortable, never missed a hot dinner (and some hot lunches, too.) The location of the Navigators galley, down low, at the center of her rolling and pitching moment, makes for the ability to prepare meals underway. The peninsula creates a great spot to wedge yourself at sea; and the microwave/convection oven handles most meals at sea. We did use the grill and the cooktop several times, too.

A close study of Eldridge revealed that a landfall sometime between 2300 hours Thursday and 0300 hours Friday would give us favorable currents around Montauk, through The Race and west into Long Island Sound. We arrived shortly before midnight. Shooting thru The Race at over 9 knots, we took the only heavy spray onto the windscreen of the entire trip. Winds were 20 knots out of the north and the current was 2 knots plus from the south. The waters were roiling madly.

We anchored off Fenwick Point at the mouth of the Connecticut River, shortly after 0300 Friday. Up at dawn, we entered the river and motored up to Old Lyme Dock Company for fuel. This trip used about the same amount of fuel, 302 gallons. But we had motored the entire way at 2,800 RPM (7.4 knots through the water) and ran the generator 2-1/2 days (it was hot & sultry - air conditioning really make it comfortable inside.) Flying the Quarantine Flag, we called US Customs. Usually a phone call proceedure, this time they wanted to board us, sending an agent from Hartford. Proximity to New York and September 11th, 02, was obviously the concern. We were officially cleared by noon, and headed up to Essex for lunch. After lunch, it was a short ride up to Haddam, were we tied off the shoreline on a 20’ float.

Another uneventful trip; the kind you REALLY like to have when cruising offshore. The Semper Fi, at one year of age, is ready, willing and able for more such adventures. And so are we, though must more advanced in wear and tear.

Reuben Trane



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