Bread
EW making breakfast

Hunkered Down in Cuttyhunk and How We Got Here

Cuttyhunk has first rate wifi -- and I am accessing it with our Wirie antenna. More about the Wirie in another post -- just want to say it's a great addition to La Luna. (And I paid full price for it and he doesn't know I have a blog and I don't yet accept advertising. Yada yada yada.)

Now then. Deep breath. 

This taking off for the rest of (or a large part of) your life is hard work. I'm not complaining, just sayin'. It was hard to get work done on the boat while we were still working to complete projects for our jobs, sell the car, and see all the folks who wanted to see us and whom we wanted to see. It was hard to walk down the dock as we didn't want to be rude to anyone who had advice, ice, or questions.

    EW said yes, to three blocks of ice. Three blocks! We have one cooler on deck that had a block     already. What was he thinking? I found room for two and as things worked out I was glad to have     them. (Guess he was thinking that our new life is unpredictable.)

After my little breakdown, EW decided that we would "sneak" to Jewell Island on Sunday, October 17th and let everyone think we were really leaving. We needed more time to get the stuff stowed and to take care of us. When we entered the harbor I said, "I see a mast." "Yep," said EW, "there's a boat in there." "I hope it's no one we know". I said. I didn't want to talk with one other person or go through one more good-bye. Fortunately, we had a lovely, quiet and productive afternoon and evening. The next morning we "sneaked" to Portland to pick up a part for the furnace and were graciously allowed to tie up at Portland Yacht Services while EW made the repair. 

At 4:30 we left for the Cape Cod Canal, a trip that was expected to take until noon the next morning and the first time we have had night watches in at least three years. It was pretty uneventful. The moon was nearing full so we had great visibility, the seas were quite calm, we sailed for a number of hours and motor-sailed most of the rest of the way. Except after 4:00 AM the engine kept stopping every few hours. I would sail, EW would change the fuel filters and we'd go back to normal watches. EW figures that we sat still so long getting ready to go that finally leaving stirred up sediment in the tanks. The tanks were cleaned last year, so he wasn't worried that the problem would persist and it hasn't.

I had my moment going through the Cape Cod Canal. I had the helm and a very proper powerboat captain hailed us prior to passing. As he powered up, I thought, "Bet he goes south every year." And then it hit me .. We are going south! I wanted to dance I wanted to shout it over the loud hailer to folks on shore. We are going south. On a boat. This is very cool. I am not cool, but this is.

So, we stayed on the hook in Onset, left the next morning with a plan to head past Block Island and turn right for a two day sail to Delaware Bay. The wind was on the nose. EW wanted to sail so the navigator plotted a course for that. We lost some time there. We lost more when we discovered that the bilge pumps weren't working. None. Of. Them. I learned how to heave to. EW fixed one of the three bilge pumps. We headed for an anchorage and found one at Cuttyhunk. We haven't been ashore and may not. 

The wind is 25 knots with 30-35 knot gusts and has been for two days. We've worked on the boat. Well, EW fixed two of the three bilge pumps and I helped. We also worked on better storage in the pilot berth area. Which means that now we know where things are back there.

We attempted to leave this morning with weather reports predicted reduced wind from the northwest. It would have been a wonderful reach and La Luna loves to reach -- so we hauled anchor, and left this lovely protected harbor to meet 35 knots on the nose and big honking waves. We could have continued, but EW decided that we weren't ready for a 40-50 hour passage with in that weather with just two on board and we returned. 

I'm proud of our decisions on this trip and the process we use. Could we have kept going the two times we've stopped? Yes. Do we have to subject ourselves and our boat to this? No. 

There are more (and better) stories about these last few days. I'll write them up as we go and post when I am able. We think we are leaving in the morning. When we go we will be 40 hours out if we stop for a rest in Atlantic City or 60 hours out if we make it all the way to Salem New Jersey -- just across from the Delaware Canal. 

 

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Mark  McAuliffe

Good luck to you both! What a fun adventure. Best Mark McAuliffe

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