EW making breakfast
The Three Most Important Things I learned During My First Week as a Cruiser

Heading to Norfolk -- Cause It's 64 There and Other Flotsam and Jetsum

We're heading out this afternoon. Saying goodbye to Cuddyhunk and bypassing the Chesapeake. After months of telling everyone -- including my family there -- that our first major destination was the Chesapeake, we'll not be sailing to Baltimore or Annapolis. No Delaware Canal for us this year. This is a lesson in letting go and being flexible. I'm not always that flexible. If I make a plan, I want to follow it through. If I designate a day or time. I want to arrive at (or before) that time. 

EW and I have a phrase, "Huff Time". Huff is my maiden name and being on time is a requirement for my father's children. Being on time means arriving at least 15 minutes early. When I was a teen, my mom, dad and I once arrived at a church for a wedding before the ushers. My mother wasn't happy. I have a physical reaction to being late. I can't help it. (Well, until now I haven't tried much to change it, actually.) When we were leaving Portland on the 18th, we'd decided to leave at 4:00 and at 3:30 I started getting anxious. At that moment I paused and took a few deep breaths and did my best to relax. We left at 4:30, happy and calm. It was a good trip. 

But we're two weeks behind schedule and my next "Huff Time" moment is Thanksgiving in Jacksonville. We just can't take the time to go all the way up to Baltimore right now -- not and get anything done on the boat. And EW wants to do boat work in a warmer climate. I don't blame him. So, we have a reasonable weather window and we're leaving for Norfolk this afternoon --  as soon as I post this. On the way, I'll call my Baltimore family and apologize. Maybe they can drive to Norfolk. 

Now for the Flotsam and Jetsam

Here are some interesting moments from the past almost week.

1.  EW has mentioned to me that he thinks others are watching us because they can't yet do this and are "living vicariously" through us. That point was made clear when EW received an email after one of my posts. A sailing neighbor had checked the weather in Buzzards Bay for us the day we were leaving Onset. He checked the weather before we did.

2. I mentioned a few boat challenges in my last post. It's a boat. Things happen. On our first day in Cuttyhunk, EW fixed two of the three bilge pumps. During that repair, he lost his favorite flashlight -- a Jobi. He held on to the legs but lost the head of it, the light. It had popped off and "flown" and could be down in the bilge (bad) or hung up in the engine where it could fall on a belt or two (potentially disastrous). We kept looking. Suddenly I saw the light! Literally. Just like the old Timex commercial, it was still working and the light was shining up through the bilge water. Now, how to retrieve it? It's a long way down into the bilge under the engine. I put my entire upper body down there (well, all that would fit) and couldn't pick up the light. So I told EW to hand me the "Lake Egg" spoon. That, of course, is a slotted spoon one uses to remove poached eggs from the boiling water. We call them "Lake Eggs" because as a child, Favorite would spend a week or two with EW's parents at a fishing cottage on a lake and they would make poached eggs. I rescued the light and I washed the spoon really, really well. EW made a great breakfast this morning, including Lake Eggs. They did not taste like diesel. 

3. There have been a number of other boats taking refuge from the winds in Cuttyhunk. One dragged their anchor yesterday. The captain and crew had gone ashore and EW spotted their boat drifting to the soft shore on the East side of the harbor. We tried to raise the Harbor Master but it's the wrong season for that. We blew our air horn, hoping that the boat crew would hear it and look to the harbor. I'm not sure whether or not that worked, but very shortly after they were in the dinghy making their way to the boat. They were stuck until high tide, but got safely off to a mooring last evening and left this morning.

4. I'm a pretty social (talkative) person. I think this is the longest time I've gone with only EW to talk to-face-face. So far it's going just fine, but I can see why I want to get my Ham radio license. I think I will be the Communications Officer for this vessel. 

5. In terms of provisioning -- so far so good. EW isn't complaining. We have a bunch of freezer meals we'll use for the next 75 hours or so. I've baked bread and cookies and banana bread. Since I am not a total detail person --or that kind of detail person at all -- I didn't do menus for the month. I'm keeping a record of our meals to see how it worked. I'll share that when the month is over. Just so you know, we did bring some hard candies and a bag of tiny Tootsie Rolls on board. We also bought some 2lb containers of nuts, including cashews. I had the Tootsie Rolls mostly gone before we left and finished them up by Onset.  EW devoured the cashews in the same manner. There are times that call for comfort food.


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D & J

Yes, folks are out there following your travels. Fair winds. Its cold here and really, really time to leave! D&J


I'm reading this and nodding. I can't wait to meet the new, flexible Barbara in April! Miss you.

Connie Durrell

Great update and good to hear from you. Hopefully you are off and running without any other problems.
Love ya, Gil & Connie


Yes, there are absolutely people following you - especially since the boat's out of the water back here in Maine!


We are enjoying your posts so much! I had a great ride on one of my favorite horses today. We are headed to Vegas this week!
Enjoy, enjoy!

Magdalene Came

Love your posts and being able to keep up with the "ups and downs" of your adventure--keep on truckin' (er, sailin')
Love, Sis

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