Saturday, May 28, 2016

Norfolk Virginia to Bermuda Ocean Training Cruise, May 26-June 2, 2016

S/V NAVIGATOR, our Island packet 40  departed Norfolk Virginia at 1345 on May 27, 2016 after two preparation days. The crew members are: Captain Tom Tursi of Pennsylvania (Skipper), Captain George "Nordie" Norwood of Florida  (First Mate), and student crew members Ellen Dawson (Indiana), Walter Ried (Ontario), James Lyon (Maryland) and Carl Dickisson (Florida). NAVIGATOR will make the passage to Bermuda via a non-stop ocean route. The cruise has an estimated distance of 670 nautical miles, and will take approximately 6 days, sailing both day and night.  We will discuss the route, weather and actual progress here on our blog as it happens, so please join us! To follow the discussion, see the COMMENTS to this blog post. To follow their actual progress on via SPOT, click HERE


Rita Hanson said...

Hello all! Be sure to click on the spot link above to follow the progress of NAVIGATOR and her crew. One note on the SPOT transmissions… The SPOT is far from infallible and a loss of signal is quite common. There have been times where we had no position update for more than a day. Reasons can range from a weak satellite signal, a sail bag inadvertently shifted and blocking a clear "view" of the sky, or SPOT batteries getting weak. The crew checks in with me electronically at intervals, and we will address such issues. Also, sailboat tracks are affected by wind direction, current, etc. and rarely result in a straight-line course. I’ll post updates here which will include position reports from the crew. ~ Rita

Rita Hanson said...

Bradley Mabe, a Maryland School graduate and weather expert is providing weather guidance to the crew. I'll include his reports to the crew here on the blog, beginning with those relayed in advance of their departure. Here is the first.

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 27, 2016 at 9:39:28 AM EDT
Subject: WX 5/28 - 29

Tropical storm concern for the next 48 hours. Area of low pressure shows signs of organization.

Movement WNW to NW This disturbance may make landfall and be out of your way - will know more after 3PM reconnaissance data available.

Sat 5/28 - near Norfolk - Winds S to SE at 5 to 10 becoming E - SE 10 to 15
Sun 5/29 - Winds E - SE 10 to 15 becoming variable 15 to 20 late in the day - rain and squalls probable as remnants of tropical low pass West of your anticipated position.

Western wall of Gulf stream approx 17 miles off Cape Hatteras.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 27, 2016 at 3:35:51 PM EDT
Subject: Weather Forecast Additional Information (5/27-29)

The Hurricane center has not issued any watches or warnings yet but if they occur, they will be issued by 8PM.

Tropical low located about 450 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina as of 3PM current movement continues toward the WNW. Shower & t-storm activity continues to become more concentrated.

Will continue to advise through the evening / night / morning as I have new information.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 27, 2016 at 5:20:56 PM EDT
Subject: Additional information TD-Two tropical storm warning issued

5 PM position 28.5N 74.7W Moving WNW at 11

Projected to make landfall, Southern SC Saturday evening then a turn ENE is expected.

This storm should be away from your projected course to BDA

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 28, 2016 at 8:02:24 AM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX information (5/28-30)

Tropical Depression two position center 29.9N 77.0W as of 5AM Sat. Some strengthening over night Max winds at 35 kts. movement NW at 14 - projected to make landfall on SC coast early Sunday. Navigator should be clear of this storm. After landfall a turn to the NE is projected.

5/28 - winds variable SSE to SSW 8 to 10 building 10 to 15 later in the day showers possible thru the day
5/29 - winds S to SE 10 to 15 showers possible from the S
5/30 - winds S to SE 15 to 20

Stationary high pressure to your West keeps winds generally S thru the period

Rita Hanson said...

From: S/V Navigator
Date: May 28, 2016 at 9:08:00 AM EDT
To: Bradley Mabe, Rita Hanson
Subject: 5/28/16 Status

Thanks Brad for good news. We left a day early since Low looked to have us pinned down for three days if we waited until Saturday. Initial eight hours were great sailing with 18-22 knot winds from SE sailing 6-7 knots. Now 1-2 knots wind from all around the clock. Steering 140M under engine. All's well. Had Dinty Moore for dinner last evening. Position 3641N, 7455W


Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 28, 2016 at 5:24:36 PM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX forecast addendum 5/28

Tropical Storm Bonnie 31.1N 79.4W Moving NW at 10 kts max sustained winds now 40 kts. I see no issues from this storm with Navigator's present track.

High pressure dominates in the area along your course. Anticipate winds S to SE with winds generally 15 to 20. A small front crosses your course late Monday / early Tuesday bringing an increased chance of rain / showers.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 29, 2016 at 3:18:59 PM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX Information (5/29 -31)

High pressure to your East is the controlling WX factor for the next several days
Winds SE to SSE at 15 to 20 kts thru the period 5/29 through 5/31

weak frontal passage late Monday 5/30 or early Tuesday 5/31 - brings an increased chance of rain.

TS Bonnie made landfall near Isle of Palms, SC and is not a threat. Otherwise the tropics are quiet.

Rita Hanson said...

Received an "all okay" check in from NAVIGATOR.

GPS location Date/Time:05/29/2016 14:47:06 EDT

Message: Hello from S/V Navigator. All Okay

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 30, 2016 at 3:14:42 PM EDT
Subject: WX Information (5/30 - 6/1)

5/30 evening / night - winds SE 15 to 20 becoming 10 to 15 overnight
5/31 winds SE to SSE 8 to 10 becoming 15 to 20 during the day
6/01 winds SE to S 10 to 15 - weak front approaches from SW increasing likelihood of showers

Tropical storm activity is quiet.

Rita Hanson said...

Date: May 30, 2016 at 6:44:48 PM EDT
Subject: Check-in/OK message from SPOT Navigator

GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2016 18:45:04 EDT

Message: Hello from S/V Navigator. All Okay.

Rita Hanson said...

We have not been receiving daily email status reports which may indicate the crew is having email connectivity trouble which is not unusual at sea. (Or maybe they are just having a good time and forgot about us.) In any case, Captain Jochen Hoffmann sends this message:

OK messages from Navigator keep coming. My latest: "GPS location Date/Time:05/30/2016 21:18:28 EDT." Boat email connectivity may not be working right now. Bradley's Wx reports are telling and of interest to crew and Blog readers alike. Even if crew does not get Bradley's Wx reports at present, he had given them enough of a sense re TS Bonnie - now no longer an issue. They are also picking up Wx reports over their on-board electronics to make course decisions. We see their course N of the rhumb line (i.e., as the crow flies) for now since they have wind on the nose.

Rita Hanson said...

Just received a Sat Phone message from Captain Tursi:


Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: May 31, 2016 at 6:08:19 PM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX Information (6/1 - 6/3)

6/1 - Winds SSE to SSW mainly S 10 to 15 increasing chance of rain
6/2 - Winds SSE to SSW mainly S 10 to 15
6/3 - Winds becoming SW 8 to 10

Scattered showers throughout the period
Daily highs around 80 nighttime lows 72 to 74

Tropical storm activity remains quiet.

Rita Hanson said...

Captains Hoffmann and Runals have provided the following insight:


From Brad's weather (wx) forecasts, based on a variety of NOAA wx products, we can see that so far NAVIGATOR'S winds have, generally, been coming from the direction the crew needs to go: Bermuda. This is expected to change in the next 18-24 hrs to allow for a more southerly course toward Bermuda. But up to this point, to keep her sails full and drawing, NAVIGATOR'S crew has had to stay north of their desired rhumb line course.

While the "wavy" track will likely have resulted from Brad's predicted wind shifts (between SE, SSE, etc.), captain Runal's annotated current shot (see graphic above) brings in another fascinating dimension: prevailing ocean currents. There are on NAVIGATOR'S track two prominent eddies (rotary currents) that have broken off the meandering Gulf Stream weeks or even months ago: a blue cold water one (counter clockwise current) and an orange warm water one (clockwise current). Each one will affect the boat on her track - either slowing her down and moving her off course or speeding her up in the direction of Bermuda. All are factors that make for lively discussion on board during an ocean passage.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: June 1, 2016 at 6:33:13 PM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX Information (6/2 - 6/4)

6/2 - Winds S 8 to 10 a weak trough in the late afternoon brings probable rain showers/ T-storms. Trough approaches from the SSW. Winds increasing 10 to 15 gusts to 25 possible in T-storms.

Wind becomes SW 10 to 15 at night.

6/3 - Winds SW 10 to 15
6/4 - Winds SW 10 to 15

Chance of rain / T-storms through the period.
Daytime highs 80 lows 72 - 74

Rita Hanson said...

Family and friends,

You can see by the SPOT track that NAVIGATOR has made the expected tack toward Bermuda last night. Our best guess for an ETA is between early evening and midnight today if all goes as expected.

Rita Hanson said...

From: Bradley Mabe
Date: June 2, 2016 at 7:17:15 PM EDT
To: S/V Navigator
Subject: WX Information (6/2 - 3)

6/2 - overnight winds variable S to SSE 10 to 12 weak trough described in earlier forecast moved more slowly than expected causing some variation.

6/3 - Winds S at 20 early morning becoming SSW 10 to 12 later in the day

Your spot course shows you tacking from the N - sorry, I tried to make it blow SW and put you close hauled. But I still can't persuade, only predict.

TD Bonnie is back over water, strengthening and getting better organized. present movement is NE at 5 kts. just off Cape Hatteras.Models suggest a turn to the E over the next 24 hours. BDA is in little danger, Storm track is N of BDA, but may influence your return trip. I'll keep my eye on her.


Pete Tursi said...

Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers on board the Navigator! Good sailing! Pete Tursi