Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mahina Kai – Day 3 Marion to Bermuda – Gulf stream

Wind SW 8.4kts Seas 1-2ft
Mahina Kai – Day 3 Marion to Bermuda – Gulf stream

This morning marks our half-way point to Bermuda!

One of the complexities of crossing the Atlantic Ocean is remediating the impacts of the gulf stream current.  Most of us know about the basic current flow from the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, to northern Europe, which then sinks as a cold current and returns South.  In reality though, there are arm-like offshoots from the main current, and large areas of spinning cold or warm eddies that can stay active for years.  These create beneficial or opposing currents that can help or hinder progress.

A second complexity is the prevailing weather.  Two years ago, remnants of TS Bill, moving through New England and easterly off shore created strong winds in opposition to the gulf stream current.  This combination increases the seas, wave heights, and compresses the wave frequency, and made for a very rough ride.  This year, a gale moved North of New England before the start, giving us a lively sailing day for the start, but has now left us with several areas of high pressure and relatively calm weather now. 

Part of the strategizing of this race is to determine the impacts of the main gulf stream and the eddy currents which may be moving in favorable or unfavorable directions.  All the boats are sailing their own race now, and are trying to determine the best path through the gulf stream.  Each vessel wants to take advantage of these currents, especially considering the light winds, to position themselves for a good approach to Bermuda upon exiting the stream.
Have seen a couple pods of dolphins swimming nearby, and a few sea birds.

Thai peanut noodles for lunch, dinner of Lasagna, Cookie of the Day: Frosted starfish

#SVMahinaKai #MBR2017

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