Making for Charleston – day one

Before dawn on November 2nd, we dropped the lines at Safe Harbor Bluewater in Hampton and pointed Oestara‘s bow out of the harbor, heading out for the first leg of our southbound journey with our awesome crew (and friends!) Chris & Tom aboard. Boy were we ready to get south…it was about 40 degrees out as we headed out at 0530. Here’s a couple of fuzzy photos (it was dark!)

The sun eventually greeted us as we left the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

Wind was at about 100 degrees apparent, and in the teens, so we went full sails up, with the code zero out (a large headsail we sometimes use instead of our self-tacking jib). What a great feeling it was to turn off the motor!

We reefed the main around 0700, after steak and egg breakfast bowls, and a little after 0800, we turned the corner around Cape Henry. The wind was in the high teens, gusting to 20s, and our speed over ground, or SOG, was in the 9-10 knot range. (That’s nice and speedy for Oestara!) Cecelia joined us in the cockpit for a little while to check things out.

Crew morale was pretty high. Leaving on a passage is always a little exciting, a little nerve-wracking, and a little tiring. Eventually adrenaline gives way to calm, and you start to settle into the rhythm of the boat. But suddenly, that calm and rhythm are shattered by a shout of FISH ON!

Patrick was pretty stoked to carve this thing up, while the rest of us tried to figure out what it was. Eventually we decided it was a “false albacore,” or a “little tunny,” which unfortunately meant it was not a great fish for eating. Oh well. We’ll catch something else I’m sure!

As sunset neared, we decided to trade out the code zero for the jib, as no one wanted to be messing with furling the code in the dark, should that become necessary. We also agreed on a three hour watch schedule – Tom & Patrick from 9-12pm, Melissa & Chris from 12-3am, Tom and Patrick from 3-6am, and Melissa and Patrick from 6-9am. (The daytime usually works itself out as people nap and eat when they need to, and spend time on deck in a general rotation.)

Hooray for day one!

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