The weather window is Open. Antigua here we come!

Our 44 hour sail down to Cape Lookout was a great chance for our new crew-mate to get used to life on passage, and arriving for a few days on the beach with warm weather felt positively tropical. Almost like we had a mini-version of the passage to Antigua.

Anticipating a spell of bad weather, we moved into the dock in Beaufort, NC to wait out the week, tackle some boat chores and (hopefully) gear up again to leave if the weather window for Antigua opened up. Watching the weather forecast almost obsessively, we started to see some positive signs a few days ago… the provisioning runs started, the fuel tanks (and many jerry cans) were filled, and everything was carefully stowed for passage.

And the forecast has continued to look good – the best we’ve seen for the passage in weeks. Barring a big change overnight, tomorrow morning we’ll top off our water tanks, cast off the dock lines and set sail for Antigua!

From Beaufort, it’s ~1350 nautical miles to Antigua (as the crow flies). We expect it to take us around 12 days. I think of it as a journey in three parts. We’ll start out with some strong downwind sailing, crossing the gulf stream Sunday and heading east / southeast as we work to get ahead of stronger winds driven by a cold front coming off the US east coast Monday. Once that passes us and the wind settles down we’ll be into the second part, working our way east / southeast in lighter winds, likely motoring at times until we’re far enough to turn south into the tradewinds. That will begin part three, as we work south into the tradewinds blowing steadily out of the northeast and east and some fast sailing down into Antigua.

Stay tuned to our PredictWind offshore tracker for short blog updates from the trip!