Tall Ships Challenge Race #1 – Savannah to Cape Fear.

PRIDE got off to a Weatherly advantage at the start of the first Tall Ships Challenge race for 2012. But that does not mean it was a comfortable experience. 15-20 knot conditions on the bow after such winds have been blowing for 24 hours is not a lot of fun. Heavy weight to setting and trimming sails. Significant sea swell of 6 odd feet to bash against. Significant angle of heel for everyone to stumble over with a leaping PRIDE along with spray on deck and some down below because a hatch was carefully left open for ventilation…forgetting that water could also go down it. Some bunks got wet. Still good for sleeping in though after a very physical time of it on deck.

Overnight the wind strength eased to 12-15 knots and direction veered from directly ahead to a bit to the side…ENE to SE…and that enabled PRIDE to sail parallel to the coast between Savannah and Charleston. After dawn the hoped for continued veering to SE did not appear. Instead the wind backed to ESE and since PRIDE has been closing the shore and tacking when water depth was running out. She is now near Winyah Bay. We still hope for veering wind. For now the only sign of change is easing of strength.

Yesterday’s parade of tall ships out of Savannah was a windy affair and somewhat overcast out in the Atlantic. A little rain as well during the start of the parade. Like other vessels so equipped PRIDE gave a number of gun salutes as she progressed down the river. Today the weather has been sunny and the water a slightly tropical green. Last nights moon came up after sunset and chased away the darkness that fallowed sunset.

There is 24 hours time left to finish the race and 90 nautical miles still to go…so we are only about half way along the race course. Two vessels have dropped out…LYNX and APPLEDORE V. They have appointments in New England and considering the long range weather reports is for northerly-northeasterly winds they are worried about the time remaining to meet their obligations. For now I think PRIDE has the time to try and finish the race.

Best Regards from aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II