Why St. John’s?

May 20, 2019

Day 227

Noon Position: 33 212N  62 09W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNE 4

Wind(t/tws): SExE 6

Sea(t/ft): E 3

Sky: Thin Altostratus

10ths Cloud Cover: 8

Bar(mb): 1024

Cabin Temp(f): 77

Water Temp(f): 71

Relative Humidity(%): 56

Sail: #1 genoa and main, reaching on starboard

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 78

Miles since departure: 30,283

Avg. Miles/Day: 133

Leg North Miles: 7,124

Leg North Days: 61

Avg. Miles/Day: 118

When I mentioned our slowness in the context of *regression to the mean* in a recent post, I was hoping the mean we finally regressed to would be something like 135 miles a day. In the last week, however, we’ve had only two 100-plus mile days. Mo can crank out 1,100 miles a week without coming up for air, but this week we logged but 651. So our mean just gets meaner and meaner.

We are finally above Bermuda, however, and have answered the question regarding on which side we’d take her. Port.

“Have you explained why your first stop is St John’s?” asked a friend recently, “Not New York, Boston, Camden, Lunenberg, Halifax, to name just, well, five?”

It is a good question, and the answer is simple: I never considered going anywhere else because a) St John’s is decidedly on the Figure 8 route and b) it has the required marine facilities and big grocery stores. And did I mention, it’s right on the route?

Actually, I did flirt briefly with the idea of Boston, thinking that goods there would be cheaper and marine facilities, more diverse. And though it does save some 500 miles of sailing on this inbound leg, Boston is so far west that it adds 1,000 miles to the leg up to the Arctic. So, I’ve decided to stick to the most logical stop.

St. John’s is less than a thousand miles north now. In any worthy wind, we’d be there before the end of the month. But when your average speed is 3.9 knots…you don’t do the when-do-we-make-port math.

Today’s Bodger

I’ve been worried about not having an anchor windlass switch. I have no plan to anchor prior to making port, but St John’s is in high latitudes and in the way of icebergs coming down from Greenland, this in a heavy iceberg year and an anticipated landing month that is not yet summer. Which is to say, I want to be ready to anchor in an emergency if need be.

Hot-wiring the switch is easy enough, but imagine hot-wiring in the dark of night in the rain on a cold, gale-racked and unfamiliar coast. Clearly, having a switch is better.

After scrounging around in the odd-bits box, I found a below-decks-only, three-way switch. It looks to be as old as the boat and unused. After installation and testing (it makes the windlass go), I packed its connections with dialectic grease, wrapped that in duct tape, doused the switch lever in penetrating oil, and wrapped the whole thing in a zip lock bag. All this care because the anchor locker is not remotely dry in a seaway, not to mention in the rain of a cold, gale-racked and unfamiliar coast.

I think this bodger ought to do until a

new switch can be acquired.

6 Comments on “Why St. John’s?

  1. Looks go nice job. Will you get information on the northwest passage in St Johns? If not where will you or how will you decide?

  2. Randall. I have some wonderful friends in St. John’s who are avid sailors! I shall ask them to watch for your arrival and do anything they can to assist you! You will really like them! Not sure I am reading it correctly but I see Stronger winds coming your way! MO will lift up her skirts and romp along soon.

  3. Randall – Good idea to wrap that switch well. Hoping you have a better Memorial Day weekend than the foreast looks now. After a brief lift on the east side of a low looks like you will be headed on the west side just as you are in the stream, confusing seas at best. Unless of course I read your intentions correctly from the tracker and you have decided to stay south for a few days till it passes. Best, and hopefully you still have propane for some warm bread.

  4. Pingback: The Northwest Passage in 2019 | The Great White Con

  5. Pingback: The Northwest Passage in 2019 | The Great White Con

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