This was my view from the pilothouse this morning as we approached Sandy Hook Channel after making a trip to points south this last week. A long voyage coming to a close after many long days at sea with little to do but steer a course and plot positions, one watch after another.
Our last voyage was from the Port of New York to Port Everglades Florida with the first leg completed in just over four days and kind of remarkable in that we had a surprisingly pleasant trip past Cape Hatteras both ways. The weather was rainy and stormy on our way “down the beach”, but the seas weren’t rough and the thunderstorms we witnessed were just freakin’ spectacular.
I never get tired of seeing a show of lightning that streaks light across miles of sky for as far as the eye can see on a horizon that is impossibly far away. The sky just seemed incredibly huge as we sailed down the coast. The atmosphere was clear enough that we could see stars above the thunderheads 40 miles away with bolts of lightning weaving and darting through massive formations. We had a lightning show every night from Port Everglades to Baltimore, awesome. I wish I had a proper camera to have taken pictures of what we were seeing at night.
Overall a voyage of nearly 2200 miles delivering to two ports along the way. First stop was Port Everglades, then on to Baltimore to complete the delivery of our cargo.
A round trip of 2200 nautical miles(roughly 2500 statute miles), about nine days underway time plugging away at an average of 10 knots(11.5 mph). It went from balmy temps to hot and steamy to raw and chilly in the span of a few days.
We sailed 14 degrees of latitude south and 7 or so degrees of longitude west and back again. We rode home on the eddies of the Gulf Stream in the bluest water you could imagine. (Think of a brand new pair of dark blue denim jeans, that color.) We covered the coast from Sandy Hook to Port Everglades then back up to and through the entire length of Chesapeake Bay, C&D Canal, Delaware Bay and then up the Jersey Coast to Staten Island where we now sit loading our next job for Providence Rhode Island. We sure do get around.
We were “incommunicado” for most of the trip due to our distance offshore. Our sat phone and sat-comm systems (reserved for company communications) were our only regular contact with shore-side for a good deal of our trip. But lacking cell phone service and (of course) internet was a pleasant respite from the “always connected” way of life. It gets quieter, nice. The points along the trip that have fringe coverage near Hatteras and Canaveral allow for a quick call home if you catch the right tower at just the right time. But mostly it’s a “no service” situation until you’ve closed on the beach near Jupiter Inlet or Palm Beach southbound and Chesapeake Entrance northbound..
A beautiful trip but a rare one as well. One doesn’t generally get a round trip past Hatteras with near flat seas both ways. I’m sure we’ll pay the piper somewhere down the line. Of that I am certain.