Monday, August 20, 2012

Lacking a Photoeditor, I'm Forced to Actually Write About Cruising

Later, after I've returned home I'll post something about the value of cruising as active mental therapy, rather like physical therapy, but that sort of writing requires reflection. Mostly, I'm glad to have transitioned from dreading the concept of vacation, to being well accustomed to notion of a 32 x 16 foot home.

But I'm writing from Chincoteague, I'm on vacation and not feeling chatty, so this will be the brief version.

Day One. Deale to Solomons. Numb. Not much wind, some spinnaker work and mostly motoring. Boring destination. But we did stop at Calvert Cliffs, kayaked and beach combed, and got a nice swim. Some relaxation.

Day Two. Solomons to Tangier. Speed sailing, wing and wing. since the course was mostly dead down wind. Some cat sailors are adamant that jibing down is faster, but not when the wind is good and the crew is asleep. And the ride is better. Rig a good main preventer, pull the genoa sheet down, set the autohelm, and enjoy a book. My wife got me "Life", an autobiography of Keith Richards. I was never much of a Stones fan, but the book was strangely engauging.

Our adventures were considerably less drug-fueled. We caught some blue fish trolling, the girls caught some crabs from the docks, and we had a MAJOR seafood feast for dinner. So fresh.

Day Three. Tangier. Hanging out. Visited perhaps the nicest swimming beach on the Bay. Starting to forget work. Bad cell phone and no Internet (even with air card) helped.

Day Four. Tangier to Cape Charles. Good reaching wind. Excellent dinner at Kelly's Pub. They have done a major revamp of the city marina, trying to breath life into the city. It's helping. But the waterfront eatery didn't do too much for me. It's OK, though.

Day Five. Cape Charles to Chincoteague. Time for an ass kicking, with predictions of 15 knots right on the nose, and 85 miles to cover. Fortunately, it turned out to be a very close reach for much of it, though some rough riding and some mal-de-mare was in order for some of the crew. We nearly turned back--I was in favor of it, out of concern--but all determined to soldier on. As the waves became more regular and winds lightened one tick, it worked out. We arrived just in time for dinner.

Day Six--?? . Chincoteague. No, we haven't decided when we are leaving, but we think about 3-4 days. Reading, relaxing, a quick check in with the office, but only with one person that helps rather than complicates. I've learned to relax again. A nice paddle in the marsh, timed so that the tide took me both out and brought me back. Nice. Some time in the town and walking with my wife. Nice.

Chincoteague town dock

 Damage to date? We shattered some more old mainsail slides with the downwind work. Really, I should have replaced them all years ago, but I had stronger replacements in the sewing kit. No problem. The new engines--I had not had a chance to test drive them prior to leaving the dock--have been perfect. I had to do the 20-hour oil change in Chincoteague, but I brought my suction kit, so that was cake. It made me feel like a real cruiser. I've been playing with new spinnaker rigging; that was fun and Ill post something when done. Batteries have been the big problem. Though I check the water quarterly, generally adding only a few ounces, at some point something must have gone wrong. The first night they were clearly not holding up and I realized that ~ 65% of the water was gone! It took about 3 liters of distilled water per group 27 to fill, and they are still not right (voltage drops off to about 12.3V almost immediately. I must have a bad regulator somewhere but have not yet run the problem down. I will be getting new batteries in Cape May. For now, I'll just watch the water.


The rest of the trip? We'll move on to Cape May when we're bored here. We need to be home by Labor day. That's the plan.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great time ... enjoy the rest of your vacation!