Why Halifax?

May 30, 2019

Day 237

Noon Position: 42 50N  63 19W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNW 5

Wind(t/tws): NNE 10

Sea(t/ft): NE 3

Sky: Clear

10ths Cloud Cover: 0

Bar(mb): 1011+

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 43 (Note yesterday.)

Relative Humidity(%): 65

Sail: #2 and main, close hauled on starboard

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 96

Miles since departure: 31,224

Avg. Miles/Day: 132

Leg North Miles: 8,003

Leg North Days: 71

Avg. Miles/Day: 113

Overnight our west winds slowly veered into the north and more, pushing us due east and way off course. I came on deck at 3am to assess–should we tack around?–and found that the sea appeared to be boiling with fog. Fog came off the watertop in billows, and in the glow of running lights, cast an eery spell over the night. I couldn’t see more than one boat length.

Icebergs to windward, an immediate thought, though they are not due here at all. Switch on the radar. Nothing. But in the morning the answer was clear. We’d come into soundings overnight–in over the continental shelf. The water was now green and cold. At noon I recorded a 24-hour water temperature drop of 24 degrees due to the upwelling, from 67 down to 43 degrees in a matter of miles.

Close hauled into a stiff chop until late afternoon. Speed: disappointing. I’m back into layers and a fleece hat.

As you can tell from the tracker, Mo and I are beelining towards Halifax, not St John’s.


Answer: it’s closer. Over the last week Mo has lost her wind vane and primary headsail (my two best friends); winds have been strongly contrary or light since I can recall, we’re low on fuel, and the east coast of Newfoundland is experiencing a record iceberg year.

This last item caught me off guard. I knew from the pilot charts to expect icebergs along my route, but if you look at the attached chart, you will see that the east coast is floating anywhere from 20 – 70 icebergs per square degree. Imagine icebergs, gale force northerly, fog–a very likely scenario. I need a plan for that. (Thank you to Tony and Connie for the chart.)

So I’m diverting to Halifax for a pit stop. A few days to a week.

As fortune would have it, Halifax (Lunenberg) has sailmakers and St John’s does not.

12 Comments on “Why Halifax?

  1. Good move, Brother. Time to take stock and load fuel and fix some busted stuff. The sail rip is a serious wakeup call. Those are the “new” North Sails, correct? Lots of wear and tear. Dealing with radar and icebergs will cost extra fuel. You need it, too.

  2. Good call! Time for a wee break. Some fix it time, fuel, rest, a nice bed, a warm shower, some human connection and a general reset. You’re doing great. A little pit stop is just the the thing. If you can afford the time, 10-14 days might really be an act of kindness! Keep rockin’ it Randall!

  3. Between the folks at the RNYS and John Van-S, you should be able to find all that you require in Halifax. Good luck.

  4. I follow your travels daily, I am glad to hear that your (taking a break), .. finaly, st. John’s, or Halifax, take your time… relax for a bit.. looking forward to hearing, reading about Halifax. Best regards.

  5. Loved visiting Halifax. Enjoy and continued safe journey cousin.

  6. Hey Randall, this is Fred and Emily, Lavonna’s and Bruce’s friends from Saudi. We live in Hubbards, a 45 minute drive from Halifax, and that much closer to Lunenberg….we’d love to see you and help out if we can….Emily’s a great cook!

  7. Enjoy the excellent maritime museum while in Halifax!

  8. Checkout John Harries in Lunenburg NS. Fellow Bermudian knows the north waters been there for years. Attainable Cruising Adventures the boat is Morgan’s Cloud good luck a least you can have some fresh glacier water. Richard Isted s/v Lily baba30 Bermuda

  9. HI!! Tough call hey and really the best option for sure..so congratulations on the way your doing this ..Quite epic and always sensible but plenty of adventure into the unknown and your a master of Risk assessment and Value judgement a great example to many…good luck for the rest hey!! 🙂 ..

  10. Congratulations on reaching Halifax! How does it feel to walk on dry land after 237 days at sea?

  11. Hi,
    A little suggestion from a lifelong Video/TV/Producer/Teacher… I have no idea what kind of video camera you’re using, so this is a kind of “Spit into the wind” suggestion. When shooting videos on deck, with any kind of breeze, you get Rumble that can mask your speech.
    IF.. you have an exposed microphone on the camera, try covering the mic with some kind of fabric or sponge material. If you are using a smart phone, locate the mic opening and tape something like a Band Aid over the hole.
    Covering the microphone with some kind of porous “shield” will reduce the Wind Rumbling perhaps even eliminate it.
    Lots of folks loose some very fine narrations because of Wind noise.
    Fair winds

  12. Pingback: Newfoundland, Found – The Figure 8 Voyage

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