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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back on track, but weather looming

Well, in Beaufort, NC, thermostats were changed, plugs tightened and all repairs inspected by a mechanic, and thus, they were underway again by evening. They were aiming south once more, straight for the Bahamas, with a forecast of NE winds at 15-20 kts, and 6-8’ seas, but forecast to diminish to 2-4’ as winds died off. Not the best forecast right out of the gate, but if it followed true, conditions would improve. It was a restless night for me, imagining the seas and winds, and early this morning, much to my dismay, the forecasts had not improved. If anything, the conditions were worsening, and I feared for their comfort and safety. Pouring over the NOAA sites, seeing the blunt warnings of “GALE FORCE WINDS EXPECTED SAT” did nothing to ease my fears.

The 0830 sat phone call came, and Ron sounded tired. Indeed, the conditions were worse than they anticipated, and at 32.405’N, 76.491’W, but they were going forward. They are slogging along, having to slow down in the 10’ seas and not making good speed in the pounding conditions. Hearing that the weather was to turn even worse with the impending low-pressure system bearing down in 48 hours, Ron reported that they were altering course to head more westerly to hopefully find calmer waters. The next 24 hours are going to be ugly, no doubt about it.

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