Expedition Around North America
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Miami - New York (USA)
(February 24 to March 6, 2009 )
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Leg 17
Miami - New York (USA)
(February 24 to March 6, 2009 )

March 6, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
New York City
12:00 p.m. local time

Finally, we spent the night there, next to the statue. It’s a good place to take the atmosphere of this big city after a trip off shore. In the morning, after breakfast, we are going to North Cove Marina where we should dock during our stay in New York. It’s right in Manhattan downtown, next to ground zero and the world financial center.

Were onboard for this leg :

From left to right :

Vincent Berthet (France)
Bottom : Christine Rousssel (France)
Top : Olivier Pitras (France)
Laurent Ceresoli (France)
Pascal Barezay (France)
Claudine Conan (France)
Vonne Blanchet (France)
Pierre-Charles Guerroult (France)

 

The Miami-New York crew-Photo Vincent Berthet
The Miami-New York crew
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
March 5, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
New York City
40°41’N – 074°03’W
7:00 p.m. local time

Early in the morning, the wind weakens. The sky remains clear, the sea is absolutely calm. Several cetaceans are breathing out close to a channel buoy, but we can’t identify them. As time goes by, the coast is coming into view in more detail. The pillars of the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, which marks the entrance to New York Harbour, are becoming increasingly distinct. Skyscrapers cut out against the blue sky. The veil of pollution, so common to all large cities, is here as expected. We sail under the bridge in the early afternoon to head North. In a moment, the characteristic green silhouette of the Statue of Liberty confirms that we are indeed in New York. There is no more doubt about it. We decide to moor for a while in close proximity to Lady Liberty, so as to fully enjoy sunset light.


Lady LIberty, New York-Photo Vincent Berthet

Lady LIberty, New York
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
March 4, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
Shores of New Jersey,
39°18’N - 073°50’W
9:45 p.m. local time

At least, the bitter cold has guaranteed us bright and clear days, the weather is again splendid. The steadfast breeze pushes us towards our destination without our having to manoeuvre too much. This isn’t bad at all, as everything is stone-set in a glove of ice.


Frost on the deck-Photo Laurent Ceresoli

Frost and ice on the deck
Photo Laurent Ceresoli
(Click to enlarge)
March 3rd, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
Off the shore of Maryland,
37°35’N – 075°03’W
10:45 p.m. local time

The weather is gorgeous. Dappled cumuli ride along, carried by a light breeze. It is, however, bitter cold. The zipper of one of the cockpit covers snapped for too much cold, we will change it in New York. We are taking again the endless channel that is leading us this time towards the exit. As soon as possible, we set the sails and make our way to the North-East. Under the rays of the sun, the snow that had accumulated on the dodger slides away and opens up deck space. Mid-day, our route forces us to sail close hauled. It is difficult to set the main sail, all the ropes are frozen. We hope that freezing sea spray will not overly accumulate on the structures at the bow. And so night is falling. Several fishing boats are navigating around us. The moon keeps us company.

 

Hoisting the main-Photo Vincent Berthet
Snow on the deck
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
March 2, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
Hampton River, Chesapeake Bay
37°N – 076°19’W
6:00 p.m. local time

Our mooring is nicely sheltered. We are far from everything, but since we don’t have any particular intention to land, all’s in order. As we’re waking up this morning, we’re coming upon snow on deck. After breakfast, each one does his or her business. We are rediscovering life onboard an enclosed ship. All has gone so fast with the transition that we’re left speechless. The day is going by without a bang. The atmosphere on board is just excellent !


Northern Gannets-Photo Vincent Berthet

Snow on the deck
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
March 1, 2009, (time onboard = UTC – 5)
Hampton River, Chesapeake Bay
37°N – 076°19’W
5:00 p.m. local time

Here I am back on deck. well not exactly, at the chart table rather, but that’s a first step. As for the deck, Laurent has it under control.
It is surprising to see just how quickly we have gone from hot to cold weather almost without transition. Up to Cape Hatteras, we enjoyed tropical conditions sustained by q southerly flow. Winter smacked us in the face the moment we veered toward Cheseapeake Bay, with the temperature going from 20 to 0 degrees Celsius in a few hours. We reached the mouth of the Chesapeake in the early afternoon and we will remain here until the morning of March 3rd so as to let a bad blow from the North pass us by. Onboard, heating units are purring again after months of silence. The tropics all of a sudden seem very far away. We are back in the heart of winter...

Northern Gannets-Photo Vincent Berthet
Northern Gannets
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
February 27, 2009 (time onboard = UTC - 5)
Off the coast of North Carolina
33°30’ N – 76°29’ W
4 :15 p.m. local time

Olivier is resurfacing after 48 hours of sheer hell. This afternoon, he shared a soup and smiles with us. It feels so good to hear him again throw about his trademark repartees. We are still being carried by a strong current bearing Northeast. Mid-day, a succession of manoeuvres mobilized part of the crew so we could adapt to the wind shifting to the Southeast. We are heading for shelter Northwest of Cape Hatteras and are hoping to reach it before the arrival of rather strong head winds. The crew is taking advantage of this warm and sunny day, as it certainly is one of the last.


Music on board-Photo Vincent Berthet

Music on board
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
February 26, 2009 (time onboard = UTC - 5)
Off the coast of Georgia
31°03’ N – 78°45 W
5 :15 p.m. local time

We are making our way over the Blake Plateau. An Eastern wind is accompanying us and it seems that we will be able to go straight past Cape Hatteras. Animations come to liven up our navigation: dolphins start paying us visits from dawn on, flying fish take off in squadrons on endless flights, and we are coming across blue jelly fish, also known as “Portuguese Man of War”. We are spending this second day at sea in a rather clement and warm weather. The sea is calm. We sure love seeing “Southern Star” dash forward at high speed and we could almost think that her wish is to bring her captain and crew toward the plenitude of New York Harbour.


Physalie-Photo Vincent Berthet

Physalie
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)

February 25, 2009, time onboard = UTC – 5
Off the "Cape Canaveral", Florida
29°02 N – 79°37 W.

9:45 p.m. local time

We left Fort Lauderdale yesterday afternoon. Olivier is slowly recovering from the flu he’s had for the past three days. The crew is giving all its best and stomachs are getting used to the offshore swell. The strong current of the Gulf Stream is helping us on our journey northward to Cape Hatteras, with speed regularly going over 9 knots. At night, a starry and moonless sky allows us to catch good markers to stay at the right course.


Leaving Fort Lauderdale-Photo Vincent Berthet

Leaving Fort Lauderdale
Photo Vincent Berthet
(Click to enlarge)
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