Monday, October 29, 2007

Long Winter's Nap

It seems like it was just launched, and now fall is here and it is time for the boat to come out. But far from slumber, this is when all the projects can begin in earnest (and with the bottom still wet, I had already started taking things apart). After a nice sunset sail on Saturday evening, we ended up across the river at our “winter marina” so we would be ready for haul out on Monday morning. Sunday morning we got a phone call from the marina saying they were about to haul the boat. So a day early the Salty Dog is on the hard to stay through the hibernation months to come, with an assurance that we certainly won’t be bored this winter. ~M

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Atlantic Adventure

The day after Mark returned from his trip up the Bay with Woodwind, we set out (together this time) for another nautical adventure. Captain Jim had recruited us (along with first mate Joyce and friends Rosemary and Doug) as crew for delivery of the 101-foot sailing yacht Iemanja from Manhasset Bay(B on map) on Long Island Sound to Annapolis (* on map.) Jim plans to do maintenance and repairs here before setting out to deliver the boat to Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands.

After the drive up and final provisioning, we set out around 4 pm Saturday. We sailed out of Manhasset Bay into Long Island Sound, down the East River past New York City just as the sun set. We entered the Atlantic, and took turns standing two-hour watches overnight. It was my first time sailing in the ocean, and she took it pretty easy on me, I must say. Neither Mark nor I needed the scopalamine patches we'd brought along. Winds were about 25 knots, but the seas weren't too rough, and the big boat handled them well. Although the winds made the night watches pretty chilly, most of the trip was unseasonably warm. We sailed a few miles off the coast, passing Atlantic City, NJ on our 4-6 am watch, and witnessing a gorgeous sunrise over the Atlantic.

Sunday was a little slower going, due to engine problems, but we popped into Cape May, NJ for fuel filters, water, fuel, ice, and photo ops for Mark. We motored up Delaware Bay and anchored for the night. The full night's sleep and calm anchorage were welcome after the 4-hours of sleep and pitching and rolling of the night before. Monday morning, bolstered by sleep and banana French toast, we motored the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and entered the upper Chesapeake Bay. This was roughly the same trip Mark and I had made bringing our boat home, but Iemanja's more powerful engine made it much quicker. We anchored in the Rhode River just in time for sunset, rum drinks, and a final dinner aboard, before Jim dinghied us ashore.

Mark earned his keep by taking the helm, raising and trimming the sails, navigating, finding a marina in Cape May with a dock long enough for us to fuel up, and engine troubleshooting. I earned mine by staying out of the way, occasionally taking the helm, and keeping everyone fed. We are so grateful to Jim and Joyce for including us.

But, lest you think sailing is all romantic adventure, here's the list of things that went wrong.
1. Radar and GPS chartplotter not working.
2. Autohelm stopped working while underway.
3. Water tasted of antifreeze because the boat wasn't properly de-winterized.
4. Head (toilet) in our cabin not working. This meant 90-foot "fun-house" walk on rolling boat.
5. Fuel spill into bilge underneath Jim's bunk.
6. No replacement fuel filters (clogged fuel filter #1 cause of engine punking out)
7. Refrigeration stopped working while underway with tons of perishables (and the Captain's beer)

Not one of these things were Jim's fault, and everyone made the most of it and had a great time. THAT is what sailing is all about. That, and the rum drinks at sunset.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Boat Show Weekend

The U.S. Sailboat show was this weekend. We made one major purchase (a folding propeller) but overall were pretty restrained. We ogled Zingara, a HUGE catamaran available for charter in the Virgin Islands. We looked at the current Catalina model closest to our own, and were pleased to note that we liked the layout of ours better. After a painkiller from Pusser's, we headed home to meet Mom and Sara. We headed out on our boat for dinner and a "sail." There wasn't much wind, but our guests were good sports. Sara was very excited about the boat, but still recovering from a cold, and her medicine knocked her out. The mattress that belongs in the forward berth had been removed for cleaning, but we improvised and she conked out without even removing her lifejacket.

On Sunday, we headed to the beach after church (in OCTOBER!) Sara braved the waves, even after a stumble where some water splashed into her mouth and she declared, "I almost DIED!"

Sunday afternoon, we headed back to church. St. Luke's celebrates the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi with the Blessing of the Animals. Sandy got a blessing from Father John and a nice walk and Sara got a good look at some of the other pets.