Sailing 1700 miles across the Atlantic Ocean

Fall 2023 – We left on our biggest adventure yet. Sailing across the Atlantic ocean over 1700 miles from Hampton Virginia to Antigua.


Antigua here we come! 1700 miles in 12 days of pure ocean sailing. We sailed with a group of 80 other boats as part of the Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally 2023. Onboard were Captain Stephen, First Officer Dawn, and two crew – Larry and Kevin.

Pilar and crew left the Hampton dock at Blue Water Marina at 4 AM November 2 to catch the outgoing tide. We navigated our way out of the Chesapeake Bay harbor in the dark of course. Surprisingly for such a busy harbor, there were unmarked bouys we had to spotlight. Waters were rougher than we had planned. But we were glad to be on our way.

Our previous departure window of 10/28 had been delayed and we had been watching for the best weather window to cross the gulf stream and sail east as far as possible in order to be in the right position to pick up the trade winds south of Bermuda.

We had about a day delay in the “parking lot” as many rally members called it, waiting out Hurricane Tammy that was dissipating in the Bermuda area.

Gulf stream crossing was actually some of the calmest water of our entire trip. Fish caught include Mahi and Wahoo.

We hit the trade winds Thursday around 430 PM. From then on, it was pedal to the medal sailing. 20-25 knot winds between 60-90 degrees off the wind. Constant speeds around 9-10 knots until we hit the Antigua harbor.

With this trip, the crew on PILAR have all achieved Ocean Status as sailors.

Larry posted his own video about the adventure as well.

Sailing Virginia to Antigua 2023 Caribbean Salty Dawg Rally