My go to crew — my dad — and I, flew to Rhode Island to meet Ariane, a 46’ Alubat Cigale, to bring her to St Augustine, FL to be sold. We arrived and boarded her Monday after picking up provisions and other odds and ends needed for the trip south.
We pulled out of New England Boatworks Tuesday morning at 07:30 to almost mirror flat water. It was a very good start! Having spent a couple of hours the previous night going over routes and tide conditions it looked like, if everything went perfectly, we would catch the favorable tide at the south end of Long Island Sound and Throgs Neck to cruise through New York and the East River. Luckily, it went very well during the night and we arrived at day break to a South flowing tide. It was quite the fun ride screaming through New York, sometimes hitting over 11 knots. We took lots of pictures and managed to miss all of the ferries and work barges motoring about.
Passing under the Verrazano Straight Bridge mid-morning we set our sights for points south. Oops, the wind now decided it was heading North. So, we motor sailed almost the entire way south.
Fortunately for the first half of the trip the wind was pretty light and seas calm. Once we managed to get around Cape Hatteras however, we had stronger winds and steeper seas. Since the wind was exactly where we wanted to point we needed to make a decision. We had three choices …. we could fall off seaward where we would be battling the good old Gulf Stream, or we could fall of towards land where we would run out of room quickly and not gain much ground, or tuck our heads down and motor sail the best we could into the seas and wind. We chose the last option as straight line distance in this case was our best option. Keep in mind time was of the essence here. This was not a leisurely cruise or fun sail down the coast. This was a delivery so we had to get from point A to point B in the most timely manner.
Once we rounded Cape Hatteras we continued South but the weather reports predicted a very strong storm from the West coming in packing falling tempertatures into the 40’s & 30’s. This is cold to southern boys.
The storm was scheduled to arrive Saturday evening. As Friday wore on the wind and current picked up more and more, so we pulled into Morehead City in the early afternoon just before the storm hit that evening.
In Morehead City the full force of the storm raged through Monday. We stayed put and performed some minor repairs on the autopilot and re-provisioned for the home stretch.
Tuesday morning we headed out at first light into 6-8’ seas and south wind that was up and down. The wind was predicted to turn to the west, and then north for us. It slowly did this for a short period but then came right back around to the south and south west. So we continued to motor sail into it. At times it was quite strong with a very close steep sea that was fun to pound into.
Thursday the wind headed us so far off course we had a great line on going to the Bahamas! The seas were sharp enough, and wind strong enough, that we were having a tough time making way even motor sailing. We decided to just head straight for our waypoint with no headsail and the reefed main. About 45 minutes after making this decision the wind stated dropping off, and the seas started laying down, enabling us to make the last 90 miles just motoring straight for St Augustine.
Ten days after setting sail we arrived at the St Augustine Sea Buoy at 03:00. Since it was dark, we waited for day break to proceed into the inlet. As the east started to lighten up, the breeze started filling in, and, from what direction? Straight out of the north. Exactly where we needed it to be for the entire trip!
Ariane is now in her, new, temporary home, St. Augustine, FL, our country’s oldest city. She is enjoying our warm FL weather and can’t wait to meet her new sailing mates, and ply the seas looking for her next adventure.