Thursday, April 25, 2013

Now Maybe Bye Bye Heat & Thundershowers

I've been spending the last few days working from the boat in an effort to get her ready for our upcoming northbound passage back to Erie for the summer months. Not that the weather is all that hot and muggy here but we yearn for some fresh water sailing and the passage north via the Gulf Stream promises to be an exciting adventure.

Neala's son Christian arrives tomorrow and my son Grady arrives on Monday to help crew for the passage. We will complete provisioning on Tuesday and then head north via the ICW to Lake Worth, near Palm Beach, to wait for a weather window. I've got a new SSB radio on the boat for offshore communications as well as a liferaft as an ultimate backup. Neala and I have been taking online courses in Marine Weather and we have retained Chris Parker to send us regular updates.

The passage from Lake Worth to Beaufort NC is 580 nautical miles and to Norfolk is 750. Both routes follow the Gulf Stream that is currently moving north at between 2-4 knots. This kicker could give us over 250 miles per 24hr day if the winds do their part. Our goal is to get as far north on the outside as we can because the ICW is slow going and only during daylight.

GRIB file showing current Gulf Stream currents

Sea surface temperatures along the US East Coast

Sea surface temperatures along Florida East Coast