Nov 96 Enews

Hi All,

We finally made it!!!

We pulled in to the customs dock in St. George's Harbor, Bermuda at 11 a.m. Tuesday November 5th.

Talk about a wild ride! Right after we sent you our first high seas transmission, we got hit with a force 8 gale. Winds kicked up to around 35 knots and seas were around 4 - 6 feet. Bill had to hand steer for around three hours as the autohelm turned to mush. The night fell on our first day with rain and heavy cloud cover.

Our second day dawned with, you guessed it, more rain and overcast skies. At around 8 p.m. on the second night, we had a sudden increase in wind. It kept increasing all the way up to around 50+ knots with gusts to 65 knots. We were running with a 2nd reef in the main (we had made the main sail smaller by not raising it as far as it could go) and finally had to pull the main all the way down. Even with no sails up, we were still moving downwind at around 6.5 knots of boat speed. Pretty hairy!! After around 3 hours, the winds calmed down to around 40 knots and we could engage the autohelm. Sergei pulled manual steering duty while the wind was way up and taught us a thing or two at the same time.

The start of the third day showed promise. A sliver of clear skies showcased a rolling vista of 10 - 15 foot waves rolling under our stern. It's hard to explain how small you feel as these mountains of cobalt blue seas roll forward and you have to tilt your head far back to see the wave crests.

The night passed uneventfully and on the fourth day we caught our first fish, a 12 pound Mahi-Mahi. Nick cooked it up for dinner.

The rest of the trip passed quickly by. We had a flying fish land on deck sometime during the 4th night. A small squid also landed on our stern during the night.

However, the highlight was tying up at the dock at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club and getting our first round of rum drinks, Dark & Stormies. Alex and Nick have family in Bermuda and they set us up royally at this fine club overlooking Hamilton Harbor. The sunset was beautiful and now we are looking forward to getting showers after waiting 3 days (the watermaker broke and contaminated all our fresh water in our tanks on the second day, thank goodness for the extra 10 gallons we provisioned in Newport).

Time to relax and enjoy!

Jeff writing for the crew of Out of Bounds
On the dock at the RHADC in Bermuda 7:45 p.m. Tuesday 5 November

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