May 26th – Waiting…

8 AM has come and gone, and nary an anchor has lifted from the sandy, coral bottom.

Bermuda Weather Service discussion:  “Strong winds and moderate to rough seas persist ahead of a cold front. The front will bring showers, gale force gusts, and a risk of thunder by noon. The front will pass early this evening and conditions rapidly settle overnight. Light to moderate winds and moderate seas then remain through the weekend as high pressure builds.”

The fleet will review the weather router’s recommendation this evening to make a provisional decision about leaving on Saturday or Sunday.  If y’all want to do some side bets, go at it.

As there’s nothing particularly interesting to report, here’s some comment and recap for the next leg.

Bob did get the satellite comm system fixed, so we will have limited internet.  I’m hoping this means that daily posts will continue, uninterrupted.  However, our bandwidth is low and expensive, a deadly combination for images.  To keep in the captain’s good graces, I will limit the pictures per posting to one or less, probably the latter.

The fleet for the crossing is five boats:  MoxieAngela, with fleet Capt. Bernie in command, Aleoli, down to four crew, the body bag and the 300-gallon fuel balloon, Jura, the newbie-to-the-fleet, owner Cameron and three crew, and Relish, down one body to three total, Silvio in charge.

The leg to Horta, on the island of Faial, in the Azores, is 1,818 nautical miles (nm).  At an average speed of 7.0 knots (4% slower than leg 1…to reduce fuel burn by some geometrically higher rate), it will take 259 hours to get there (10.2 days).  This is the longest leg, by far, crossing three time zones.  We will be fishing the whole way!

Adventure of the day or how I pissed off the bus driver

Ah, the gift of time; a full day, in this case.  It’s not something to waste.  So, at the crack of 9:45 AM, we headed ashore to catch the ferry around the island to the Dockyard, the severe other end of the island.  The Dockyard is Bermuda’s largest tourist trap and cruise ship dumping ground.  It’s the former Royal Naval Dockyard, a British monstrosity built in the same way as the pyramids, i.e., slave labor.  The Brits used convicts: burglars, privateers, murderers who were given commuted sentences.  But the conditions were so brutal that some 2,000 died.  The place is no pocket fort, it’s huge!

It operated for about 150 years, until 1951.  In 1995, title was transferred to Bermuda.  Today it houses the National Museum of Bermuda.  It’s a fascinating place.

But the Dockyard wasn’t the reason for the trip.  It was more to see the rest of the island.  We’d not made it past Hamilton, which is somewhat less than halfway the length of the island from St. George’s.  So, that happened (all visuals, no stories) and, afterwards, we landed in Hamilton with one more errand to do before heading back to the boat.  It was out of downtown a bit, so we figured we could take the bus, hop off, do the deed and then hop back on the next one, continuing in the same direction.

Unfortunately, the driver had other ideas.  I dropped our $9 worth of fare (just Shar & me) in the fare box and asked for transfers…and that’s when things started to unravel.  “Where you goin’?  What?  No, you can’t do that!  No way.  What you thinkin’?  Nobody pick you up.  Besides that, I’m so late I’m not lettin’ nobody off this bus.  No sir!  You crazy.”  No amount of reasoning helped.  “You can stay on the bus all the way to St. George, but you can’t get off and then get back on.”  We boarded on the theory that it would give us some time to refine or strategy.  But it was so crowded that I was forced to stand next to the driver, which caused her to continue her rant, at me, to other passengers, out the window to people on scooters at red lights!  After about 5 minutes of this abuse, I told Shar that there was no way I would put up with this all the way to St. G’s, so the plan was to offload at the errand and play it by ear.

Then, about 5 minutes later, a miracle happened.  She did a 180!!  Just as we were pulling up to the stop, she says, “Tell next driver you come from Spanish Beach.  Give ’em this transfer.  Stand here, right here, not over there, right here!  Spanish Beach. Remember that.  Bus gotta be St. George’s, don’t get on no other one.  Right here!”  We got off laughing and amazed.  I’m still not sure what happened.

One thought on “May 26th – Waiting…

  1. Pedro, thank you SO much for posting these. Much preferable to any other news on the internets. Oh to be out of comms with the world. Cherish it.


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