The Way Home

We completed the return trip from the Bahamas to Florida and up the east coast to Cape Cod in just under four weeks. That’s pretty quick for a solo sailor in a moderately slow boat. My strategy was to keep moving every day even if that meant occasionally motoring a frustratingly slow and shallow inside route rather than sailing offshore. In the end this approach proved to be the most efficient way to utilize the scarce and brief weather windows of April.

From Bimini we sailed direct to Fort Pierce. Arriving at 0300, we anchored and entered the US using an iPhone app. No paperwork, no interview. Just press a button, wait 15 minutes, and get a text saying “welcome home.” After a few hours sleep we were underway again heading north on the Florida ICW.

High winds and rough seas kept us inshore for much of Florida, a bit of South Carolina, bypassing Cape Hatteras and the full length of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. We did have great offshore sailing from Fernandina to Charleston, Little River to Cape Fear, Wrightsville Beach to Beaufort, and Cape May to Cape Cod. The last leg was a bit over 48 hours and 265 nm — and we sailed all but a few hours of it. Nice way to end a great trip

Strong north and west winds pinned us down on Bimini for several nights. Not the worst place in the world to be stuck waiting for weather.

The pool at the Bimini Big Game Club. Good wifi spot.
Onshore westerly winds were strong enough to beach many of Portugese Men-of-War on Bimini. Not much remained of their tentacles but there were hundreds of big and small air bladders all over the windward beaches.
Fernandina Beach, FL at sunrise.
Fernandina in the fog. And the smelly pulp mill steam.
Charleston, Hampton Roads, Delaware Bay, New York City. Lots of big ships.
Barge traffic while anchored just off the ICW in the SC lowcountry.
We spent a quiet night in Georgetown, SC. This was actually the first place I touched land since returning from the Bahamas. Not a fan of the pervasive SC pulp mill stink but this is a neat little town and a pleasant one-night stop.
The active pulp mill and inactive steel mill in Georgetown, SC.
Wrightsville Beach / Masonboro Inlet at dawn heading to Beaufort, NC.
Baltimore Light
Motorsailing into 35+ kt winds in the northern Chesapeake Bay. Winds weren’t a factor once we entered the C&D Canal but the long approach was exposed and pretty sloppy. Here we’re showing just the top two battens of the main to provide a little stability in a confused sea. The engine is doing all the hard work.
Under full sail approaching the small wind farm off Block Island.
Andante back in Red Brook Harbor. She doesn’t look too bad after six months and more than 3000 miles. A few adventure marks here and there. The brown stains on the hull from our inshore adventures in South Carolina will come off easily. Looking forward to some fun regional cruising with my crew this summer.

6 thoughts on “The Way Home”

  1. Very nice summary. I think you are aware that I loved following your progress and particularly viewing the great photos. I have been to some of those spots and enjoyed every minute of them and it was great to be there again with Andante. Thanks for bringing us all along.

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  2. Loved the wrap up of the trip home. Glad it went smoothly and that we got to see you on your way through NC. Great experience following all of your adventures on Andante. Look forward to more posts of your experiences in the future. Welcome home!

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  3. Hi, Dave: It was nice following your trip. You have accomplished something great. Andante is a good boat. You are a good sailor. Congrats on arriving home safe and sound. Bob Tomaselli

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