Skip to main content

Rick and Julie Palm

Boat: AltairYee-haw! What a terrific way to finish up the passage. On the last day of this year’s Caribbean 1500, we completed a 200.6 mile day from noon to noon. For a boat like ours, a 200 mile day is the equivalent of a four-minute mile (in 1975). We charged along under blue skies and puffy white clouds going 8-10 knots, beam reaching in 18-20 knots of wind. It
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Boat:Altair

Yee-haw! What a terrific way to finish up the passage. On the last day of this year’s Caribbean 1500, we completed a 200.6 mile day from noon to noon. For a boat like ours, a 200 mile day is the equivalent of a four-minute mile (in 1975). We charged along under blue skies and puffy white clouds going 8-10 knots, beam reaching in 18-20 knots of wind. It seems that every time we do the Caribbean 1500 passage, we get a day like this as we near the islands. Makes you forget any discomfort that may have happened in the days before.

At the beginning of the trip, we had a rockin' and rollin' ride through the Gulf Stream the first night. Big rolling seas and swells mixed with a few squalls. Wind was 30-35 knots, so we were very content to run under our genoa alone with no main. The next morning, as we left the Gulf Stream, we put up our wing-on-wing rig with the two front sails; still no main...it's the equivalent of front-wheel drive on a sailboat. Probably not the way to win a race, but it's comfortable and very balanced for the autopilot. We all caught up on sleep and, more importantly, caught a mahi-mahi for dinner.

The seas settled, the white caps disappeared and we charged along at 8 knot on a beam reach all day long. The blue sky with its puffy white clouds cast its reflection to create that blue-purple color of the deep ocean water. Flying fish were everywhere including one that managed to board Lady. No sea mammals or tropic birds yet. We're continued to discard clothing as the air and the water warm up. We were down to long-sleeved shirts and jeans, but shorts and tee shirts were the norm by the third day.

At night the moon was full at first and then waned to a half by our last day out, giving the world around us a silvery glow. A few of the brighter constellations were clearly visible and our old friend Orion was positioned in his familiar place between the second and third spreaders, leading us to the Caribbean.

There is something very liberating about sailing in the middle of the ocean for days at a time.

Related

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more

01-LEAD-SPICA-Forest_3

Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained ...read more

01-LEAD-Bill-Sailing2

At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter ...read more