Farewell Bermuda! Our new crew Wayne and Kristin (N40, Kemo Sabe) arrived at midnight Saturday night and are ready to go. We spent Sunday getting the boat ready for a crossing and doing last-minute provisioning. Thankfully, the grocery at St. George's is only a short walk from the dinghy dock. On Monday we cleared customs at Ordinance Island at 8 AM and, following a short delay to allow a shower to pass, motored out Town Cut and turned due north for Nova Scotia via "I65", roughly 65 degrees West longitude. Weather is not the best but should improve with time. Commander's Weather has us threading our way around the backside of a low pressure area moving east well to our north while trying to outrun the next one due to pass to our south. The zig in our route will add very little distance to the 730 nautical mile trip. If you can avoid 8-9 foot seas with 7 second periods, do it!
The first two days are lumpy but not the worst we've experienced. Tivoli is handling wonderfully. We are playing with some new work profiles for our AP70 autopilot and have noticed a marked improvement in the boat's ride in following seas. Other systems on the boat are also behaving nicely. The watermaker is getting a workout with four of us aboard but handles the job, the generator is on full-time allowing us to run all the air conditioners, water heater, battery chargers, etc. The new AGM house bank performs very nicely. The 100Amp Mastervolt charger had a strange glitch but is now working well allowing us to pump 190-200 amps into the bank and shortening the amount of re-charge time significantly. All is well.
By Wednesday morning conditions had calmed and we were treated to a nice ride and beautiful 78F days. A waxing moon keeps us company as darkness falls. The wind and seas pick up giving us, once again, a lumpy ride through the evening. The Lugger purrs along, relentlessly moving us to our destination; the quaint World Heritage city of Lunenburg.
We are halfway to our destination, 350 miles from anywhere, when I discover the port NAIAD stabilizer appears to be oozing grease out the top seal. This can't be good; I worry that the lower seals are failing and seawater intrusion is pushing the lubricant out the top. How long before failure? I send an email via satphone to Stabilized Marine but they are closed over the 4th (and 5th) - no response. I call James Knight at Yacht Tech and he suggests continuing on and monitoring, but the boat will need to be hauled, both fins removed, and the bearings replaced. Since the sea state is comfortable I shut the stabilizers off for the next 36 hours. When the seas pick up Thursday afternoon, I turn them on again and inspect them frequently and am relieved that, while they continue to ooze a tiny amount of grease, it is a very slow process. I then get an email from Stabilized Marine and am delighted to learn this isn't a lower seal failure (they are only 6 months old) and is likely a different and trivial issue (long story). Thankfully, we will not have to haul the boat and interrupt our summer cruising plans.
We are motoring along, it is dark of course, we encounter the fishing vessel "Hindsight 20/20", along with what appears to be a series of additional fishing vessels one behind the other. Clark on Roam called us on DSC and shared that he had been contacted by Hindsight and indicated the AIS beacons behind him mark his fishing line. He had 10 miles of line out! We both altered course to give him plenty of room. A passing heavy-lift vessel had also slowed and eventually passed him to the north. First time we had seen AIS used in this manner; very clever.
Friday morning dawns and I do an engine room check. Thankfully, no change in the stabilizers, they remain clean. I notice it's nice and cool in the ER for a change. Water temp has declined from 88F in Bermuda to 57F; it is 66F outside. I will have to put on long pants and socks! What a change! It is striking how quickly the temps dropped once we crossed the Gulf Stream. Seas are now flat calm as we approach Nova Scotia. It is overcast and rain is a possibility; it would be nice to rinse the salt off the boat. We take advantage of the calmer seas to catch up on laundry, make more water, read, watch dolphins, and eat. Looking forward to clearing Customs and getting settled in Lunenburg harbor. An adult beverage in celebration of another crossing might be nice too.