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dragon’s rest


dragon’s rest

Interest continues to build for the Newport-Bermuda in just a few weeks, where another big fleet will get to race against the sexiest fleet of mini-maxis to ever grace the Western Atlantic.  Some, like Rima, Rambler, Vanquish, and the new Natalie J chose the Round Block Island race to shake themselves down (read loads of reports from the RBI starting here).  Anarchy ocean racing auteur Rail Meat chose the road less traveled; a 3 and a half day romp down to Bermuda itself to test the waters in his hot Class 40 ‘Dragon’ along with designer Merf Owen.  You can read the run-up thread to the 2010 Bermuda Race here, and here is a little from the on-the-water update that RM provided over the weekend.

Friday
We got to the shipyard at 1230, shoved off at 1430 and crossed the start at 1545.

Sailing was great until dawn and then went light as the high moved over us from the north. Very light and variable right now. Boatt is in great shape and we getting in sync with each other and the boat.

Saturday
After about 10 hours of light air during the day yesterday, the breeze picked up to 4 – 6 knots from the north west in the late afternoon. Up went the big code and forward went the boat. The wind kept bouncing forward and aft, with it pulling aft when ever it dropped towards 3 knots,and then pulling forward as it rose towards 7 knots. We worked that until about 8 AM this morning when the wind went light again (e.g 2 knots), with the barometric pressure rissing to 1017.6

Forecast is for the high to move past us by this evening, and wind to follow getting up into the teens on the nose. We are about 15 miles above the north wall of the stream, and expect to be looking at those cumulous clouds for most of the day.  Hope everyone is enjoying the memorial day weekend.

Sunday
What a difference a day makes. Wind filled in exactly as predicted, about 2000 last night. We were initially able to carry the Code 5 for about 4 hours, but then as it started to gust to 15 that got rolled up and the genoa rolled out. Been blasting along here in 16 to 20 knots from 80 true or so for the past 12 hours, with the occasional splash of green water making back to the cockpit. The sky is blue and clear, except to the East where clouds are massed. With luck and speed we will stay in front of the 25 to 30 knots hidden in there and end up pulling into Bermuda in the early hours of Monday. Target right now is a 3.5 day trip… not bad for a passage that basically had 24 hours of sub 5 knot wind.

All else is good. Capturing some good data about the eddies and stream. Nothing of note is broken yet and the NKE HR pilot is kicking ass and taking names (except for that one moment where it started showing my true wind speed as 450 knots). Just finished Macbeth and about to start something far less noble. Eating well, and the Welshman is digging the Trail Foods dehydrated / freeze dried meals. My new Jet Boil stove gimble is working like a charm… thanks Bruce / Kristin! For those of you looking for a gimble solution for the Jet Boil, give Race Rock Associates in Mystic a call.

Time for lunch and a nap.

Monday
Not only no sign of the cheese scow, but also no other boats either. We saw a cruise ship last night, the first boat we saw since Narragansett.

9 miles from Northeast Breakers, 15 miles from St. Davids. Just had the pleasure of calling Bermuda Harbor Radio in bound for the seventh time in my life. The last 24+ hours were blast reaching in 20 to 25 knots of wind at 80 to 90 degrees true. It was an absolute hoot.

Nothing broken, nothing out of sorts, plenty of good data and some good practice hours. This was an awesome trip. We are going to load fresh diesel, fresh water and Merf is going to take her home.

Good times.