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Newport to Grand Banks

The first seven days of our 2,800nm passage from Newport RI to Kinsale, Ireland were a battle. We battled negative Bay of Fundy currents, low-pressure systems, and a water-ingress issue that threatened the boat and took us ten hours to resolve. On the positive side, we also got a push from the Gulf Stream and…

Newport Yachting Center

Newport Yachting Center was a wonderful place to live for a few weeks as we staged for our Atlantic crossing. The marina had just put its docks back in the water the week prior to our arrival, but we didn’t realize just how early we were in their season until we’d been there a month…

Passage Preparation

We generally keep Dirona ready to go to sea at a moment’s notice, and securing the cockpit furniture is typically all we need to do as we get underway. For multi-day passages, we do some additional preparation ranging from provisioning, to heavy weather preparation, to paperwork necessary to bring Spitfire into a new country. Highlights…

Steering Issue

We haven’t had steering issues in the past. Given they can happen anywhere, why the heck would it occur within hours of dead-center on our 2,800 nm trip through the North Atlantic? We have covered a lot of miles over the years and generally have seen pretty good conditions. The weather we’ve encountered has been…

Alarms at 1:15am

I bolted awoke at 1:15am to a shrieking alarm. We were 50 miles south of the Grand Banks, in large seas, on passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. I ran upstairs to the pilot house and Jennifer at the helm just said “high bilge water.” Yuck. Better than fire but far from good news….

Big System Coming

For quite some time now we have been watching a very large low in the weather models coming down from Greenland. The storm is currently predicted to bring 20′ waves on 10 second period, with 25 to 30 kt winds.  With 20′ waves nominal, there will be some that approach or exceed our 30′ mast…

Fort Adams

Fort Adams guards the harbor entrance to Newport and is the largest coastal fortification in the US. The parade area is 800ft across and covers 6.5 acres. We can see the fort from our berth at Newport Yachting Center and on a warm, sunny day finally got over for a tour. On the way we…

North Atlantic 500mb Forecast

We plan on getting underway this weekend for Kinsale, Ireland. It’s a tiny bit early in the season but we have what looks to be a blocking high developing in the North Atlantic which will stall the steady stream of low-pressure systems that we’ve been watching for the past several months. Unfortunately the high is…

Stack Socket Replacement

A couple of days after we arrived into Newport, we found the breaker for the pilothouse 120V outlets had tripped. We investigated all the electronics plugged into the PH outlets but the breaker would still trip. We eventually unplugged everything and it still tripped so it had to be a bad breaker or a circuit…

Departure Planning

We’ve been studying the weather every day as we prepare for our Atlantic crossing from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland. We use a variety of data sources, including NOAA surface analysis and 500MB forecasts. The sources we rely most heavily on are GRIB files containing data from computer-generated models such as NOAA GFS and WAVEWATCH…