There’s Dolphins in these waters!

The allurement that woman hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating— Henry Louis Mencken


Captain Morgan’s Crew on Mystic from Norfolk to Brunswick, GA


According to Chris: Day one has been much more about power boating then sailing. Been under motor for about 80% of the time and averaging about 5.5 – 6.0 kts. Seas have been gently rolling about 3′-4′ all day and now well into the night. Don got us over 8.0 kts at one point when we had both the Genoa and Main trimmed out well.Just waiting for the wind to come off our nose and come out of the west so we can let this beautiful ship show “ME” what she’s got.

Don here:  We’ll be at Cape Hatteras at midnight! According to buoy data at the Cape, winds change from 7 kts on the nose to 13.6 to 17.5 still on the nose.  Swells are awful out of the east at 5 feet.  Predictions are that the  wind will clock sometime tomorrow,  We’re hoping.  This is not a motor boat!

The good new is about the cooking…stews are great but the winner is Cat’s cookies, brought aboard frozen!  We feel those are an investment for the Sharks—CAT’s Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So all’s well.  Getting fat and sassy!


Sleep well, able crew!


23 Hours and Counting Down!

The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.-Dom Degnon

Don:  Commanders’ Weather’s recommendations are here…we’re going!  Want to know?  (Planning?) Here is their report:
To: Donald Campbell and the crew of s/y “Mystic”
From: Commanders’ Weather Corp, tel 603-882-6789
Route: Norfolk to Brunswick, GA
Departure: Tues, Dec 1, 2015
Prepared: 0700est Monday, November 30, 2015

Will have some headwinds to deal with pretty much all day Wed ahead of a cold front

1) Front down to off North Carolina then extending W to a low over Tennessee
2) The low will move ENE and be off Virginia early Tuesday
3) Winds will become NW behind the low
a) so, expecting NW wind around 11-16 kts Tues morning
4) The low will move NE during Tuesday
5) Next front on Tues will be from Lake Michigan to western Tennessee to SE Louisiana and will move ESE
6) Wind backs and becomes quite light Tues evening
a) crossing Hatteras looks fine
b) flow becomes SW at light speeds
7) There will be increasing SW wind, though, on Wed ahead of the cold front
a) wind speeds increase to 12-17 kts in the afternoon
8) The cold front will pass Wed night, around Midnight or so
9) Wind shifts to the WNW and NW behind the front and will clock later at night and on Thurs
10) The front will be from Nova Scotia to southern Florida Thurs
a) high pressure over the western Plains will nose E behind the front
11) The southern part of the front will stall across southern Florida and the high will come E Thurs-Fri
12) Tightening gradient will result in increasing NNE and NE wind Thurs and especially Fri
a) wind speeds 20-25 kts Thurs night and Fri
13) Less wind within 5-10 miles of the coast, stronger further out

Wind forecasts
Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is EST

Tues, Dec 1
01: 030-050/ 6-12
07: 310-330/11-16 if departing
13: 290-310/10-15
19: 250-210/ 5-10 wind backing
Weather…Early showers ending then cloudy. Partly cloudy at night
Seas increasing to 5-7 late morning and afternoon, diminishing at night– mainly an ENE swell

Wed, Dec 2
01: 180-200/ 7-12
07: 200-220/10-15 ENE of Cape Lookout – stronger wind further offshore
13: 210-230/12-17
19: 230-260/12-17
Weather…Variable clouds with later day/night showers
Seas E, 3-5 ft

Thurs, Dec 3
01: 260-280/13-18
07: 340-360/16-22 off Myrtle Beach
13: 020-040/16-22
19: 020-040/14-19
Weather…Partly cloudy
Seas 3-5 ft during the day, 5-6 ft at night – NE wind waves and ENE swell

Fri, Dec 4
01: 020-040/20-25
07: 030-050/20-25
13: 020-040/20-25 Brunswick
19: 020-040/15-20 Brunswick
Weather…Partly cloudy
Seas 5-7 ft
Best regards,
George Caras

So, With luck…a four day trip.  Except for Wednesday, it should be an easy run into the 70 degree temperatures, to a new Marina and a new town to explore.  Fun!

Loren here: Had a eve of rain here last night, had a great dinner at Chris’s sister’s place, great steaks cooked by Chris’s bro in law. his carrots looked burnt but tasted fine. Sleep well again last night bunked out in the pilot house. Will post pics later. been working at adding more weather apps on phone and reviewing the apps i already have on my phone. Added weather 4d on my android and working at understanding how to advance time on the weather screens. Had a Sunday with no football. Having great temps, at least great or a Chicago person (55-60). And that is forecast for the atlantic coast for the rest of our trip. Looking like should be a pleasant trip!!!!

Chris says: My quote for the day “We are going to eat some cheese, drink some wine, catch some rays. No negative waves” (Odd Job from the Dirty Dozen) We have good news from the weather commander, it seems like we are less then 24 hours from departure. Anxiously awaiting what it will be like to be in 3-8 foot waves for 96 hours straight. Still optimistic that I will be able to spend some time topside in my shorts for part of the trip.Can’t wait to get underway. Talk to you tomorrow.

Till later, when we still have internet….




“What! The fog!”


“He that will not sail till all dangers are over will not put to sea”Thomas Fuller

Chris here: My Quote for the day “If it’s gonna happen, it”s gonna happen out there” (Captain Ron)  Fully provisioned and waiting to get underway. Waiting on Mother Nature to give us the go ahead. Thanks Cat for provisioning and stowing all the food. Gonna be a helluva an adventure. Did I tell the rest of the crew that I don’t wait well? I think they know it now.   PS – I will get better at this Blogging as we get underway.

According to Tim: All fueled up and plenty of food aboard this beautiful  boat. Looking forward to getting underway.  Tim had to go to dinner!

So Loren takes over: Waiting out time to go. Food on board, great dinner at Chris’s sister Sunday night. Foggy now(20:30). concern about the storm blowing across Alabama. It has some north movement in it so hope it misses us. The pilothouse should keep us comfortable and dry. Hope for low winds to Hatteras and north after that. Will be a fun boat for the 550 miles. Will post tracker information on tomorrow.

And from Don:  One of the problems with all the new navigation equipment is that one has too much information, and ends up stalling all of us.  We’re really looking forward to our weather router’s forecast and predictions in the morning.  My feeling is that he’ll say:  head out and sail down to Charleston and pull in there until all these fronts go through.  So we’re going off to bed in anticipation of a green light in the morning….

Good night, all…and thanks for staying with us!


Thanksgiving Break

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”  William Arthur Ward

Don here: It’s time to leave this beautiful water world and head North to celebrate Thanksgiving with daughter, and friends.  That it’s 30 degrees here in Norfolk, offers encouragement.

Mystic is secured to a wonderful new dock, standing by for our next voyage to Brunswick on or about December 1.  Tim and Cat will arrive with me on Saturday next, Loren and Chris will follow on Sunday.  Needless to say, we’re anticipating warmer weather and fairer winds.  Till then…

Happy Thanksgiving to you!


62 Hours–Arrival: 6:45 AM Wednesday

It is not the going out of port but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage. — Henry Ward Beecher

The trip according to Bob: Fast and easy, with a touch of bouncy.  How fast?  Well, we arrived in Little Creek Va this morning 2 hours before Zenyatta, a Gunboat 62 (extremely fast ocean catamaran) which left New England Sunday, the same day we did.  OK, they left from Maine and we left from RI, but whats an extra few hundred miles amongst friends?  At any rate, by the lead-in quote, the trip from Portsmouth RI to Little Creek in 62 hours with all hands intact and still talking to each other was a roaring success.  But Mystic is somewhat disconcerting…….how does one know one is at sea wrestling with 25 kt winds and 6-8′ seas while sitting in a comfy pilothouse?  Where is the spray dripping down my neck?  The frozen fingers and toes?  Sitting in an easy chair occasionally tweaking the autopilot while sipping the latest “Keurig”-type brew in mid-Nov hardly seems worthy of the Shannon name.  But I’ll take it.  Thanks Don, and great to meet new friends Kate and Bill.  Happy Thanksgiving.


Kate says (with the eyes of a salt-water delivery newbie): Bouncy, comfy and fast! Our first evening out of Portsmouth was a rocky one for the crew, who tangled with the near gale in the black of night. The four of us quickly fell into our spots both within the pilothouse/cabin and the crew hierarchy: captain Don and navigator Bob perched in their chairs, Bill swaddled in the high-side bunk, me alternatively alert and blissfully napping in the low-side bunk. We started out doing 6.5.-7.5 knots and maintained that speed for 90% of the ride. Was it the boat’s unique design? The crew talent? Me? I think it was the pods of dolphins that met up with us at dawn on Monday for some 6-to-8-ft bow wave riding. Bill, what do you think made this so great?

Bill says: The dozen little porpoises dashing back and forth in front and along side us for over an hour was a great treat, the food was great.  We flew here in a just a few days taking 30knots winds and putting almost 200 miles in the first day.  Being inside the pilot house, out of the weather with a dial in your course nav-autopilot was a different and way too comfortable way to go, its going to be hard to go back to my open cockpit boat. Having a missile test and explosion overhead as we approached the naval complexes at the end of this journey added some excitement  as did the night approach and entrance to Chesapeake Bay with its dozens of freighters and naval vessels .  Great trip!

Don is grateful for great crew, good humor, fast boat, and good food (thank you, Cindy, owner of Cindy’s Diner in Portsmouth!).  Leg I was a great success!

Time To Go!

Don here:  All the crew made it aboard, and we’re resuming to get out of here.  All is well!  Here is the latest forecast:

To: Donald Campbell and the crew of s/y “Mystic”
From: Commanders’ Weather Corp, tel 603-882-6789
Route: Portsmouth, RI to Norfolk
Departure: approx. 1600est Sunday, November 15, 2015
Prepared: 0945est Sunday, November 15, 2015

Summary: Still looks okay for leaving this afternoon though NE to E winds behind a cold front Mon night look stronger

1) Large high stretches from the Chesapeake to TX this morning while a cold front is into the NW Great Lakes
2) With the high to the S, brisk winds may become WSW this afternoon then more W to WNW tonight
a) winds offshore averaging 17-25 kts
3) Leaving later this afternoon, look for winds becoming more W to WNW with speeds to the mid teens to around 20 kts this evening
a) winds may be slowly diminishing after midnight
b) seas may be 3-6 ft
4) High settles over the Carolinas for Mon AM and the cold front may be into northern New England
a) and NW winds may be decreasing during the day Mon
5) Front pushes offshore New England this evening and may pass you later evening or around midnight
6) Watch for winds to shift into the N-NE as the front passes and may quickly increase to 15-20 kts gusty to the mid 20s
7) Big, cold high settles into the St Lawrence Valley by Tue AM then to the Canadian Maritimes for Wed
8) May sustain NE-E winds along your route for Tue with speeds in the 15-22 kt range and seas 3-6 ft
9) Cold front now over the US west coast moves to the E and may be approaching us from the W during Wed
a) and may ease offshore later Thu
10) The combination of the big high to the NE and the cold front to the W should allow for winds to clock into the SE later Tue night and Wed AM
a) with increasing SE winds and rougher conditions developing Wed PM
b) there may be increasing chances for showers later Wed and Wed night
11) With showers/rain and some squalls/t-storms possible Thu with the front

Routing: Close to or slightly W of rhumb line may be okay, some estimated positions below

Wind forecasts
Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is EST

Sun, Nov 15
13: 260-240/14-20
16: 250-270/13-18 depart
19: 260-280/15-22
Weather…Partly cloudy to fair
NW-W seas 3-6 ft

Mon, Nov 16
01: 280-300/16-23
07: 300-320/14-20 – near 40 25n/72 30w
13: 300-320/12-17
19: 320-340/10-15
Weather…Fair to partly cloudy
Seas diminish to 2-3 ft during the PM then NE seas build to 3-5 ft at night

Tue, Nov 17
01: 040-060/15-22 g26 – cold front to the S
07: 050-070/16-23 near 38 35n/74 15w
13: 070-090/15-22
19: 080-100/15-22
Weather…Partly to variably cloudy
NE-E seas 3-6 ft

Wed, Nov 18
01: 090-110/14-20
07: 100-120/15-22 Chesapeake Bay entrance
10: 110-130/16-23
13: 120-140/17-24 g27
19: 120-140/18-25 g30
Weather…Becoming cloudy with increasing chances for showers later day and at night
Seas build to 5-8 ft increasing E-SE swell offshore

Best regards,
Dave Pietras

Needless to say, it’s time to get excited!