The "Windwalker"

The Daily Log -- Delivery of Sally Bum Bum to Bermuda
Mar 5, 2004 -- Mar 16, 2004

Date -
Made Good
Daily Log Comments
Fri,Mar 5
Key West bound for Bermuda -- 100nm6:45, 71, 30.15, E 15-20, part cloudy. Wind has been constant at the higher through the night, about 20 now, 1ft chop. Jim came out to Windwalker about 9am, Greg went to town to get meds. Transfered gear to Sally Bum Bum catamaran via water taxi. Greg returned at noon, we boarded Sally and Jim went ashore. We pulled Sally's anchor at 12:30 and motored out the Key West harbor channel on 180 heading for an hour, then 135 for another, then 120 for 5 miles and turned on 90 into the Gulf Stream facing a SE wind of 15-20 kts and 6-8 ft seas. Came dark and Leon and I did 2 hour watches through the night.
Sat, Mar 6
Grand Bahama
Come daybreak and Leon and I were bushed. I got about an hour sleep thru the night and then sat with Greg as he learned to handle the helm and Leon rested. We got some sailing in but winds were light, mostly from astern. Most of the day was motor sailing at 7 kts. We made the turn northeast at 24:40N, 80:00W to the Bahamas about noon. Made West End on Grand Bahama amd a protected harbor inside the jetty at 10:05pm, dropped the hook, secured the boat and sacked out.
Sun, Mar 7
Grand Bahama bound for Bermuda
Awake about 7, pulled the hook, made our way to the fuel dock, fueled, got engine oil, and were on our way north around the Little Bahama Bank by 8:30. Motored all day, winds light from SW, tried a little sailing but speed was only a couple of knots. Made the turn toward Bermuda at 1:45 on a course of 65° motoring at 7-9 kts. Greg handled helm most of the day while Leon and I tried correcting the sticky helm. We have identified the problem, the pitman arms are dragging on the rudder tube support, no clearance under engine load on rudders. Placed some greased wood wedges behind rudder posts to keep clearance. Sailed through the night on main and reduced jib, occasionally making as much as 11 knots.
Mon, Mar 8
Bound for Bermuda
Motor sailed all day and night, reducing sail after dusk, wind picking up from west, a norther coming tomorrow. Started 2 on, 4 off wotches, Leon and I handling early morning watches.
Tue, Mar 9
Bound for Bermuda
Wind from the northwest 15-25knots picking up, course 75°, making as much as 12 knots, seas building to 15 ft. I took the watch at 4pm, winds built to 50-60 knots and seas to 30 to 50 feet through the night and I stayed on the helm until just before first light Wed morning, 12 1/2 hours, running quarter off the wind on heading of 90°. I was the only one with experience in heavy weather. Seas running very high with an occasional 60 footer. Greg and Leon took the helm together from first light using engines and helm to keep the boat quartering the sea on 120° heading. All soaked and worn out. Hatch over my berth leaked and soaked bedding.
Wed, Mar 10
Bound for Bermuda
I woke about 8:30, took position and reset course to 75° heading. Running off the wind put us 31nm S of course line. Boat magnificently capable of handling all headings in these seas. Did 1 hour watches through the day motoring. Winds from north still above 30kts and seas above 30 ft sometimes reaching to 50 ft.
Thur, Mar 11
Bound for Bermuda
N to NE winds diminishing a little, seas also, motored at 7-9 knots under bare pole. Inner forestay turnbuckle came loose and barrel lost. Bound it to rail to keep it from whipping. Another long night for me and Leon, Greg handling most of daylight watches.
Fri, Mar 12
Bound for Bermuda
Motor sailed with jib close hauled on 75° course at 7-9kts, raised glow of Bermuda after dark. Leon and I handled helm through night to St. George and customs dock at 2345 hours. Completed customs and had hamburger and fries that Beannie, Leon's mate, brought down, then died in our berths in quiet water for about 5 hours.
Sat, Mar 13
St. George, Bermuda
Left customs dock for Hamilton after having big breakfast at supermarket deli a block away, got KFC chicken about noon in Hamilton, then left out for Port Island a couple of miles away and a dockside where we began to clean up and put boat in order. Worked there through the day. I became very shaky and depleted and had to rest and sleep from dusk on, sleeping 10-12 hours.
Sun,Mar 14
Port Island, and Halifax, BermudaStowing, packing and getting things lined up, tickets, etc ..... Had a marvelous meal cooked by Diane and Sheila, her mother, friends of Leon. After eating Greg and I spent night in guest house near the airport.
Mon,Mar 15
St. George, BermudaSlept well, although cold during the night until AC turned off. Hamburger for breakfast, back to guest house to await taxi to airport, arriving there at 11am. Flight was delayed by about 2 hours so we will miss connection to Orlando and Key West until tomorrow morning, bummer. Off the ground at 4:30AST and landed at Atlanta at 6:30EST. Delta checked us into Country Inn at 7:15, had Mexican dinner, and to bed by 9.
Mon,Mar 16
Atlanta, KeywestWake up at 6:30, breakfast, airport shuttle, rescheduled for direct flight to Key West, in air at 8:45, Key West at 10:47. Took taxi to club, caught noon meeting, fellow there said the Windwalker is in good shape. Did internet and checked email, making my way to the boat after the 5:30 meeting. Mike hauled my gear from the club to the waterfront in his pickup. Paid Arno the $65 I owed for anchor setting and water taxi fare the day we left out for Bermuda. Back home on the boat at 7:45.
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