Crew for this trip are: Robert Lee, a trawler owner and a veteran of multiple long passages on his and other boats. Tom McHugh, my good friend from San Antonio and a veteran of 2 Gulf of Mexico crossings on my old Manta catamaran, Double Wide. Tom would never brag, but he also has completed 2 Atlantic Crossings. Heidi Ruse, the youngster in our crew is the daughter of Keith Ruse, an engineer, sailor, trawler cruiser, and owner of Deltaville Boat Yard & Marina. Heidi has been around boats her entire life and has recently joined the family business.
Once away from the dock my pre-departure anxiety began to wain as I was able to focus on running the boat and getting everyone settled in to their jobs. From Portsmouth to Cape Charles is about 2 hours, across the southern tip of the Chesapeake and out in to the Atlantic Ocean. With a North Westerly wind, the waves were mostly at our back and once clear of land, we turned south to hug the shoreline. Chris recommends hugging the coast almost all the way to Hatteras and then hooking a left to transit the Gulf Stream after the wind lays down later on Tuesday.
As the sun begins to brighten the eastern sky, I’m sitting in the pilot house, enjoying a cup of tea and keeping Heidi company on her first official watch on our trip to Puerto Rico. 1300 miles and 7+- days to go…Here’s to an uneventful passage!