Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
Thursday, August 15th, 2019
0900 UTC
Off Cape Breton, Canada
SOG 6.8, COG 222


We are en route to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, motoring with light winds. We expect light winds to continue for several days with fair weather and a bit of roll in the seas from the low that passed Tuesday night. Our ETA Lunenburg is Friday evening. Green flash at sunset yesterday and colorful sunrise this morning. Haven't seem those for a while!

All well aboard, sending,

Best wishes from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna


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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday, August 10 2019

We departed St Johns early yesterday morning and made a fast overnight sail to St. Pierre, a small island that part of an archipelago collective of France, technically called Collectivity of St. Pierre and Miquelon. While there is a bit of extra clearance and attendant formalities to stop here, the thoughts of croissants and baguettes were alluring. Hopefully communications here will not be problematic as I have locked my phone to a Canadian carrier.

It was thick a' fog on arrival this morning and there was also a flotilla of boats exiting, part of an annual Isles de Madeleine/St. Pierre regatta. Hence, navigation combined with collision avoidance was a bit of a challenge for us. The French are great racers and these sailors fell into line, likely the types that chop their toothbrushes in half to save weight while tossing unnecessary gear overboard such as fog horns and VHF radios.

We will likely be here for a night or two waiting for a weather window to cross over to Nova Scotia..

Best regards from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna

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Friday, August 9, 2019

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
St. Johns, Newfoundland
Friday, August 9th, 2019

Hello all. We are leaving St. Johns today for an overnight run, headed east while we can. Southwest winds are on the horizon and we will make miles while we can. Our time with Steve, Novara and crew has been fantastic.

Best, Bill and crew of Visions of Johanna
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
Wednesday, August 7th, 2019
0800 UTC
48 54.4N/51 36.9W
SOG 6.8, COG 222
Wind 5-8 knots, TWD 010 --> 347, seas 2-5' and sloppy
Bar 1015.5. Cloudy, fog, minimal precipitation

Wind backed steadily throughout the day yesterday and waned to the point it was light enough and behind us enough for it to be time enough for engine on at 3 PM. We have motored since then and expect to motor the final 90 nm. into St. Johns, ETA around 8 PM.

Motoring is comfortable enough but every few minutes a set of larger swells comes at us from the west and crosses our beam, resulting in a bit of clattering aboard. Radar has been quiet all night, no targets. AIS showed what we presumed to be a couple of fishing boats yesterday in the Grand Banks but also was quiet overnight. Engine on status allows us to easily passage with radar on, quite helpful in these waters that remain on the fringes of the ice zone. Water temp has risen from the mid 40's to mid 50s Fahrenheit.

Wildlife has been about as we've seen some whales, flocks of birds intermittently surrounding us and dolphins on the bow.

Lunch yesterday was egg and tuna salad sandwiches on fresh hot baguettes and a cous cous salad with red peppers and roasted brussels sprouts. Dinner was pork tenderloin medallions prepared in a masala simmer sauce with potatoes and cooked cabbage chutney, fresh tomato, corn and onion salad, peas and carrots. Crew remains rested and there was an after dinner gabfest in the cockpit around our desert favorites of sliced fresh pear and apple, cookies and chocolate, with a choice of teas. And Lucas and Brigid weren't even wearing shoes. It's noticeably warmer down here!

Lot's to look forward to today. Landfall this evening as well as an opportunity to see my great mate Steve Brown on Novara. Steve is bringing Novara home to the UK and we arranged to cross in St. Johns. Imagine, I have to sail all the way to Newfoundland to see this guy!!

Situation fine here this rolly morning, and

All well aboard, sending,

Best wishes from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna




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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Monday 5 Aug

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
0815 UTC
51 37.2N/49 48.5W
SOG 8.3, COG 221
Wind 16-20 knots, TWD 110, seas 3-6'
Bar 1009. Cloudy, lite fog, very damp with slight precipitation

Wind eased somewhat throughout the morning and early afternoon yesterday and later veered to the ESE and increased as predicted. We were flying full mainsail and reacher early on, turned to the engine for 2 hours at 1030 to keep speed, but sailed the rest of the daytime hours. We went to jib and quickly added the staysail when engine went off at 12:30 and by 5 PM there were no thoughts of engine time, wind was 15 kn and had been slowly increasing all afternoon. We saw 16-20 knots most of the night but had one hour at 0100 of 22-24 kn, gusting to 27 kn. We rode that out watchfully, brought staysail in, and wind has remained in the 16-20 knot range since.

We are carrying this still with wind just abaft the beam, sailing to a 72 degree AWA which should bring us to my interim WP of 50 30N/50 30W. Aside from the symmetry, this WP is south and east of any known icebergs in the Labrador Sea and from there we will make directly for St. Johns. Reports from Ted Laurentius, the OCC Port Officer in St. Johns, is that local knowledge says there are no icebergs in the south Labrador Sea.

We have made great miles overnight and will stack them onto our 204 nm. day one, and 197 nm. day two. We will be sailing into a trough however as we approach 50N and will likely slow down and resort to engine time. Which has been minimal so far this trip.

Lunch yesterday was a Chicken Stew with a beet/radish/red pepper/onion/apple salad. Dinner was smoked haddock and cod soup, cole slaw and open faced toasties with salami, turkey and melted cheese. Our desert and teas capped off a nice evening.

Situation fine with a side of rockin' and rollin' this morning, and

All well aboard, sending,

Best wishes from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna
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Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday, August 5th, 2019

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
Monday, August 5th, 2019
0800 UTC
54 26.0N/47 13.9W
SOG 7.8, COG 215
Wind 11-13 knots, TWD 095, seas 3-5' (edit: wind 14-17 kn past 1/2 hour)
Bar 1015.5. Cloudy, fog, minimal precipitation

Wind eased steadily throughout the day yesterday from the 18 kn range to 14-15 knots early evening to 11-13 knots overnite. We struck jib and staysail and put out the reacher before noon and have have been able to keep Visions of Johanna sailing well through the overnite hours. SOG dropped briefly below 7 kn on two occasions but we have generally been able to maintain speed in the 7.25-7.5 knot range by heading a bit south of the rhumbline to keep the ENE-E wind more toward the beam.

Reacher is still flying this morning and beam wind strategy will pay off if the south-easterlies arise as forecast as this will allow us to turn our bow directly to St. Johns while keeping the wind abeam; the SE winds should arise later this afternoon or early evening. Meanwhile in these early morning hours wind has veered from 093 region to 101 degrees which is likely the very beginning of the shift and wind-speed has gently increased again to the 12-14 kn range. We have been able to make SOG closer to 8 kn over the past two hours.

A large pod of pilot whales romped astern of us for a while yesterday afternoon, otherwise a quiet day aboard. Lunch yesterday was a home made bean soup and fresh made pizza. Dinner was Johanna's Sheppard's Pie and roasted courgettes. Crew felt rested and there was then some gab around a desert of slices of fresh pear and apple, cookies and chocolate, with a choice of teas.

Situation fine here this foggy morning, and

All well aboard, sending,

Best wishes from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna




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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

S/Y Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean
Sunday, August 4th, 2019
0745 UTC
57 21.2N/46 10.3W
SOG 7.3, COG 211
Wind 21 knots, TWD 060, seas 4-6'
Bar 1015. Cloudy, intermittent drizzle overnight,light rain developing this morning

We departed Greenland with light winds but wind picked up quickly, building easterlies to 25-28 kn gusting 30-32 midafternoon and then again for a spell in the evening. Winds have calmed after midnight to the 20 knot range as it backs to the NE.

We sailed with double reefed main, staysail and 2/3 reefed jib, partially unfurling the jib yesterday evening (moments before the second bout of G30's) and just completely opened the jib now as we have averaged in the 20 kn range for four hours.

Early on a pilot whale passed us close to starboard and multitudes of Fulmars were about, but no one here at the moment. Crew has done well. Nice lunch yesterday of fresh roasted turkey breast sandwiches and crisps. Dinner started with engine belts a la toast and a sprinkling of dust (yes, the boat was sailing like a banshee yesterday eve but toasted belts were noted in an engine room check) followed by classic Visions of Johanna fare of Brunswick Stew. Then everyone turned in early, getting into the offshore mode.

Situation fine here this morning contemplating COG, anticipated winds and strategy. I will download a new GRIB file and await a daily weather report from Ken McKinley.

All well aboard and sending,

Best wishes from Bill and the crew of Visions of Johanna

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