Day-One

I’m up early, too excited to sleep. I fire up all the electronics and make sure all are configured and ready to go. Though we typically navigate carefully planned and reviewed routes, today we will be following the group and our course will depend on Commander’s Weather excellent support. I run down to the engine room for one last check and notice the Racor filter on the genset appears to need changing. I changed it recently, did I forget to reset the max PSI or does it really need changing? Better to be safe. I dug out a spare, tools, cleanup materials and changed the filter. I then primed the genset using the transfer pump. All is well.

The Nordhavn Atlantic Passage 2017 fleet departed Old Port Cove Marina as planned at 8 AM and motored single-file down the ICW. Clark on Roam captured the parade with his drone, should be fun to see. As we make the turn around Peanut Island the swell picks up. It is rough as we beat into head seas making our way out to the sea buoy. We are finally able to turn north putting the seas on the starboard beam. Tivoli is riding well with her full load of 1500 gallons of diesel but the human occupants of the boat are having to move about carefully with the motion. It is warming up so I start the genset and, you guessed it, it stopped after a few minutes. No doubt air in the fuel line. Now I’m back in the engine room, 100 F this time, digging out tools to bleed the line. Thirty minutes later the job is done, the genset is purring, and we are all happy to have the A/C’s on. To load up the genny we also turn on the watermaker. Life is good, we are on our way!

The sea state worsens during the day, 5-8 feet with the periodic larger swells, winds ESE at 15-20 knots. The faster boats hit the Gulf Stream first and are soon making speeds of 10-11 knots. We throttle up to keep pace and are burning 5-6 gallons/hour and still losing ground and getting beaten up as well. Aleoli is burning 10 gal/hr to keep up. We finally get the Gulf Stream boost too but the fleet is moving on. Our friends on N47 are a bit slower than Tivoli and are also being left behind. They decide to throttle back to ease the ride, we join them. We will catch up with our friends on Angela, Moxie, Aleoli, and Relish in Bermuda. By nightfall they are out of sight.

We spend a dark night hanging on as Tivoli rolls in beam seas. The stabilizers are working hard but can’t smooth the ride in these confused seas. The crew is managing just fine and nobody has needed a “What’s Up Chuck?” bag (from the Barf Boutique – no kidding!). We are moving north along the coast to reach calmer seas and winds. By daybreak we are approaching our waypoint off Jacksonville. Winds are calmer at 12-15 knots, still some whitecaps but fewer in number, seas are down and the ride has improved. In a couple hours we turn northeast, hopefully giving us an even smoother ride. We are idling along doing 7.3 knots at 1250 RPM and burning 2.3 gal/hr. The good news is we have covered 200 mm in the past 24 hours and conditions are improving.

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