News and notes from the boats racing in the 2017 Marion to Bermuda Race
  • Mahina Kai – Day 6 Marion to Bermuda – Land Ho

    Wind SW 12kts Seas 2-4ft

    Mahina Kai – Day 6 Marion to Bermuda – Land Ho

     

    The final task related to the race is to finish.  Bermuda is a figure-8 laying sideways with Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound to the west, and St. Georges Harbour to the east.  The entire western and northern coastline is protected by over 300 square miles of coral reef which makes the race finish and approach into Hamilton Harbour especially complex. 

     

    Many boats are converging on the finish now, and are popping up on our charts as they get closer.  As we approach, we have a half-dozen navigation aids that we need to pass to the right on the way to the finish line.  After the finish off St.

    ...
  • FAITH AND HOPE - Home stretch
    Wind: 10 knts 267
    Sea State: Gentle swell

    Happy for this beautiful wind after slow night under waning moon, Jupiter setting, Saturn ahead and Venus rising before dawn.

    We're riding our windward rail. Passing 11'es of smoked kippers with Dijon mustard. Jacques reading Riddle of the Sands aloud.

    Jim, Frank, Nik, Asahel, Seth and Jacques
  • Mahina Kai – Day 5 Marion to Bermuda – Calm Seas

    Wind SW 3kts Seas 1-2ft

    Mahina Kai – Day 5 Marion to Bermuda – Calm Seas

     

    Another day of struggling to find a puff of air.  We had a few periods of modest wind, but largely calm with little progress. 

     

    The monotony of the day was punctuated by a visit from a pod of dolphins, which always excites the crew.  A few seabirds enjoyed fishing in the wake of our boat, and we passed an occasional Portuguese Man o’ War.  These fellows are even more at the wims of mother nature, relying solely on wind propulsion captured by their above-water sail.

     

    Normally on sail races, it is bouncy, the boat is heeled over, and eating is on paper plates.  With the

    ...
  • HOTSPUR II - Day 5 - Light Winds - Lots of laughs

    Hotspur II rode the light air towards Bermuda on Day 5 – winds were 5-10 knots today – w/sw direction – most of the day on a starboard tack -seas 1-2 ft and steady

     

    Everyone on board doing fine – in good spirits – eating very well

     

    Did not see many other racers today – did see some cruise ships – a tanker

     

    Saw what looked to be a meteorite last night shooting across the sky!

     

    Celebrated a birthday on board with lots of jokes and many more laughs!

     

    Estimating an arrival of Thursday into Bermuda - but know its up to mother nature

     

    Hoping for steady winds

     

     

     

  • Faith & Hope Dawn #4
    True Wind: 4 knots/W
    Sea State: small 1-2' swell

    Ahoy,

    We are still having fun. South of the Stream, the water seems to have a different, more brilliant blue color. It makes me think of glaciers, even though it was hot hot hot and humid yesterday. We've been seeing those "by the wind sailors" jellyfish. Can't Romberg their names. A small flying fish landed in our scupper Monday night. It's cool to have the Gulf Stream to cross -- the ocean is not a featureless expanse.

    We've started a marathon read-aloud of "Riddle of the Sands" that has a special place along side "Captains Courageous" on Faith and Hope's small bookshelf. We were amused by Childers' ironic reference to "nautical yarns in the 'hardy Corinthian' style" of "amateur yachtsmen" foreshadowing the revelation of Davies' serious purpose, 53 years after the first Bermuda Race. Looks like we'll have time to read to the...
  • HOTSPUR II - Day 4 - Warm Weather / Steady Breeze arrive!

    Winds on day 4 was steady at 20 knots – west/southwest direction – later this afternoon winds were closer to 10 knots

     

    seas have been challenging but OK –

     

    Warm weather has arrived – no longer a need for multiple layers  

     

    Plenty of dolphins to see – especially at night in the moonlight – following the boat in a big line

     

    Have seen a number of Tankers – not seen many fellow racers

     

    Food has been excellent on board – tried fishing with no luck

     

    Crew is happy and is looking forward to the final stretch!

     

     
  • Mahina Kai – Day 4 Marion to Bermuda – Weatherman said there’d be days like this

    Wind SW 6.6kts Seas 1ft

    Mahina Kai – Day 4 Marion to Bermuda – Weatherman said there’d be days like this

     

    The Weatherman said there’d be days like this.  There’d be days like this, the Weatherman said.

    Weather weather everywhere, but not a gust to sail by.

    Having cleared the main Gulf stream current, we are now in the third leg of this race, the Sargasso Sea and Bermuda approach.  The challenge now is to thread the needle of ocean currents and setup a route that provides the fastest path to the finish line outside .

     

    At the Skipper’s briefing on Thursday, the Meteorologist described how the winds from the receding storm on Friday would give way to high

    ...
  • Faith and Hope - Sunny Sunday
    True Wind: 5 knots/SW
    Sea State: lumpy following

    Ahoy,

    Hot day meant we could get our shorts on at last. Mostly clear sky's heading for the Gulf Stream. Dolphins playing in our bow wave.

    After months of studying the GS we finalized our strategy and took the plunge Into its warm waters at last, making good time with our spinnaker. A sudden GS squall (30+ knts) made life interesting for Jacques and Seth on the foredeck as we doused the asym and unfurled the Jenny.

    Now rolling along watching the moon and clouds making a shadow play as the moon lights the clouds from behind outlining their many shapes.

    Counting ourselves lucky to have a sturdy, well equipped craft and capable compatible crew,

    Jim and Jacques
  • HOTSPUR II - Day 3 - Very Very Slow start -Better finish

    Hotspur II reported very little to no wind this morning – very slow start – moderate seas – in fact early on in a “holding” pattern waiting for wind

     

    Beautiful day today – plenty of sunshine  - moderate seas – school of porpoises alongside for the sail  -  also sighting of “flying” fish

     

    Winds picked up nicely in the afternoon – up to 20 knots – steady pace ( 8-9 knots )  and favorable seas ensued

  • Mahina Kai – Day 3 Marion to Bermuda – Gulf stream

    Wind SW 8.4kts Seas 1-2ft

    Mahina Kai – Day 3 Marion to Bermuda – Gulf stream

     

    This morning marks our half-way point to Bermuda!

     

    One of the complexities of crossing the Atlantic Ocean is remediating the impacts of the gulf stream current.  Most of us know about the basic current flow from the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, to northern Europe, which then sinks as a cold current and returns South.  In reality though, there are arm-like offshoots from the main current, and large areas of spinning cold or warm eddies that can stay active for years.  These create beneficial or opposing currents that can help or hinder progress.

     

    A second complexity is

    ...
  • Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – Settle In

    Wind SW 12.1kts Seas 2-4ft

    Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – Settle In

     

    The day of the race is partly spent recovering from the crew dinner/party the night before, partly making final preparations for the race, and come 12:00: the start!  The race committee is always helpful with specific directions for race completion (see IG photo).  We appreciate all their hard work to setup and manage the race.

     

    There are multiple size classes at the start, so it takes about an hour to get all boats across the line and into the race.  Friday was a lively sailing day in Buzzards Bay, and there was plenty of opportunity for strategizing how to best set-up to exit the

    ...
  • Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – Settle In

    Wind SW 18kts Seas 4-6ft

    Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – Settle In

     

    The day of the race is partly spent recovering from the crew dinner/party the night before, partly making final preparations for the race, and come 12:00: the start!  The race committee is always helpful with specific directions for race completion (see IG photo).  We appreciate all their hard work to setup and manage the race.

     

    There are multiple size classes at the start, so it takes about an hour to get all boats across the line and into the race.  Friday was a lively sailing day in Buzzards Bay, and there was plenty of opportunity for strategizing how to best set-up to exit the bay.

    ...

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