Day 4: “Sailors on a becalmed sea, we sense the stirring of a breeze” Carl Sagan

Moonrise and a shooting star brightened the quiet midnight watch as Day 4 began.  With winds hovering below 10 knots, Perkins (our faithful British diesel engine) kept Elizabeth Jean‘s pace above 5 knots, fast enough to reach the Chesapeake before our window closed.  Sunrise caught up with us at 6:15, 150 miles east of Savannah, Georgia.  At this point we had run Perkins for over 36 hours.  Over 300 miles still separated Elizabeth Jean from Chesapeake Bay’s entrance.  We expected the wind to freshen in a day or two.  However, to conserve fuel we turned off Perkins and hoisted our spinnaker to test our progress as the breeze stirred.  Our experiment lasted only an hour.  To fill our sail it was necessary to sail off our course.  While we had enjoyed our respite from engine noise, we concluded that the forecast of winds to come was sufficiently certain to risk consuming more fuel to keep us on course.

 

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