Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Visions of Johanna Day 1 - West Palm Beach to Bermuda

Wednesday, 18 May, 2016, 4 - 6 PM Eastern
SY Visions of Johanna
North Atlantic Ocean

TWD 210 degrees; SOG 7.1 knots; Sunny morning with high cloud cover developing this afternoon

27 24.5N/79 05.4W - Just NW of Little Bahama Bank and Matanilla Shoal

775 nm to reach our Bermuda approach WP

We are now underway, and when I think of how much we accomplished over the past week as we prepared for departure, I can't believe we ticked the boxes off most all of our to-do list. Andrew and I arrived last Tuesday and hit the ground running on Wednesday. Andrew had a long list of projects to accomplish and also drove our raft to the west coast on Friday for servicing. Jack (aka the cavalry) arrived Sunday and took on his own set of chores. Together, we got it done.

Andrew and I stayed in Boca Raton with my parents for the entire week, and Jack spent the night there Sunday before we moved onto the boat on Monday. Meanwhile, as we were ticking our boxes, my mother cooked and froze so many offshore meals that we ran out of freezer space and had to eat one last night - at anchor!! Thank you mom, and prep chef dad. Our friends Kyle and Kathy then joined us for a pre-departure dinner on Monday night, great time, and then Kathy went off with my used staysail to use for projects for her and friends. I do hope that we get royalties. K&K also brought a journal for Andrew, to memorialize his adventure. Quite cool!

Lissy arrived yesterday, mid morning, and then we were quickly off to West Palm Beach. I had decided that a WPB departure would be much more straight forward - no dock lines, power cords, or fenders to put away. Just get up and go. That said, we were delayed an hour this morning by thunderstorms, but were underway by 9 AM.

Yesterdays sail from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach (technically, Lake Worth Inlet) gave the crew a feel for the boat and a chance to handle lines and navigation programs. It also allowed us to sea trail two systems that were reworked over the past month. Sure enough, the new water maker feed pump had an air block in it, and I had to spend a while priming the pump - only a small challenge underway in 20 knots. Same issue for the aircon unit which we used to "take the heat out" of the cabin. That pump needed to be primed too, in part because the 42 nm sail to West Palm was in bouncy with seas from the starboard quarter, and I think we took some air into the through hull. 20 plus knots of wind built over the afternoon as rainstorms and a bit of lightening skimmed by us in the western sky - fortunately staying over land. Andrew also checked the Aquadrive bolts after 7 hours motoring (units were rebuilt), and 2 bolts were loose and spinning. Access was not easy, but with "been there, done that" experience, we shorted the shaft brake sender unit and spun the shaft so we could get to the nuts on the back of the bolts. Job done. Tick the box. Glad we did the test sail.

Todays weather is light SSW winds, easing from from 10 to 6 knots through the day. Seas are soft and smooth. Light overcast right now.

Brief interlude - just caught a Barracuda and threw it back.

Should be at least another day of light winds and seas, an okay start for this crew; Wind might veer to be on the bow, but hopefully less than 8 knots. And of course, we are eating well. Seared tuna with a green salad last night, followed by NCIS and a goodbye to Michael Weatherly. Meatball subs and pasta, or Turkey roll-ups have been enjoyed for lunches, and...Meatloaf, green salad, and vegetable is on tap for tonight. Food is good, showers are hot. What more could we want?

This is a great crew. Jack has done 2 passages with me and knows the boat and our routines. He's always asking what he can do...

Not so brief interlude - we just landed and I just dressed two small to medium size Tunas, about 15 - 18 pounds each I would say. Not yellowfin but tuna family. Unfortunately do not have a fish ID book with me.

I know what's for dinner tomorrow night!, but got to go now. I will continue crew introductions and more news tomorrow.

Best wishes,

Bill Strassberg and crew, SY Visions of Johanna

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