Charlie and Jenny McNamara

Lady, Catalina 470Winners, Class IIIAfter over a week at the dock, we were anxious to leave Hampton, even though the start was not until noon. We were all up early, ready to go, and departed Blue Water Yachting Center around 9:30 am. The wind was strong as we headed to Thimble Shoal Light. The cruising boats went on ahead, while we waited for the start. Finally we
Author:
Publish date:
Lady_photo

Lady, Catalina 470
Winners, Class III

After over a week at the dock, we were anxious to leave Hampton, even though the start was not until noon. We were all up early, ready to go, and departed Blue Water Yachting Center around 9:30 am. The wind was strong as we headed to Thimble Shoal Light. The cruising boats went on ahead, while we waited for the start. Finally we were off, trying to stay to windward of the fleet, exiting the Chesapeake Bay with US Navy warships leading the way.

What a thrilling ride down the coast! We could see Virginia Beach high rises through the cloudy day. Winds were 7 to 9 knots on Lady, and the crew was eager. Crossing the Gulf Stream off the coast of North Carolina made all the men ill, but they recovered the next day, with the help of good medicines provided by the ship’s medical officer.

The weather grew quickly warm enough for shorts. For days and nights the wind blew and Lady flew. We had only one light air day, when we turned on the engine for a few hours. Great meals and not enough sleep.

A small brown bird took refuge under the dodger for a few minutes. We took pictures of deep blue water with frothy white foam. When the big swells came in from Canada, we turned downwind to avoid rolling Lady. After they passed, we were able to sail with the wind forward of the beam until the lights of St. Thomas were off to starboard.

There was some excitement late in the voyage when the autopilot failed, but the end was in sight, and Lady crossed the finish line about seven and three-quarters days after she started. Ashore there were sunny days and rummy nights, and making friends with everyone else who had made this amazing voyage.

Jenny McNamara

Related

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more