Saturday, May 8, 2010

Do Over / Vicarious Sailing Adventure

I'm calling a "do over" on all of last week. I spent most of the week either angry or worried and doing severely unhealthy things as a result. So I'm starting anew from today. Went for a hike first thing this morning and it feels nice.

Min Gi also was feeling up to joining me. He keeps saying, "My back is back!" It's very silly. But I am quite happy that he's feeling better. It's been a bad week.


In other news, my father, brother, dad's co-worker, and brother's friend drove up to Connecticut last week to retrieve the sailboat my dad bought in anticipation of his retirement and sailed it back to Maryland. He has renamed the boat the Katherine Marie in honor of my grandmother. I almost begged to take a week off school to fly back and join them on the three-day trip.

Here's what I missed (written by Dad's co-worker):

No need to hum the tune of Gilligan’s Island… this was a fun adventure…

Lady Beatrice – 2006 Catalina 310

Ernie – boat owner & captain
Ernie’s son – Brian
Brian’s friend – John


April 30: Friday – left Old Bay Marina in Baltimore around 8am and drove to Branford CT, 'Bruce and Johnson Marina' arriving around 3:30pm. Ernie had the Surveyor (Adrian) and a boat delivery captain (Dave) there to verify the boat was “good to go” and to help us with the planning for the journey (particularly – catching the tides correctly). Took the boat out, gave her a ‘sea trial’ to complete the survey, came back in, and Ernie had Dave and Adrian adjust the motor alignment, and we were all set. Ate some dinner at the marina restaurant – which serves excellent lobster bisque. Brian and John returned the rental van and we all spent the night on the boat…

May 1: Saturday morning @ 5:30 – left the marina and motor-sailed down Long Island Sound in the company of a J30. Passed Execution Rock around 1:30pm and arrived at Hell Gate a little after 2:30 – caught the tide just right and zipped through the East River at 11knots racing the J30 the whole way… Saw the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty (from the water of course) and made our way into NY Harbor – avoiding the shipping traffic. Motor-sailed down NY Harbor (leaving the J30 in our wake) and entered the Atlantic Ocean around 4:30pm.

Motored through the night - rough ride, howling wind coming from the south, 8ft seas..... Don't know how fast the wind was - boat doesn't have wind instruments - but we were motoring about 5 knots dead into the wind (slowing considerably at the bottom of each trough)…

May 2: Sunday – Saw the sunrise over the Atlantic. We were bouncing around so much it was hard to tell how much fuel we really had – the needle went anywhere from nothing to half full, so we did the smart thing and decided to pull into Atlantic City for some diesel. Tied up at Trump Marina @ 8:30am Sunday morning.

BTW - did you know that cigarettes cost $12 in a casino..... Brian found that out!

After fueling, trash disposal, and ice purchase, motored back out. Wind was still on our nose.....made it to Cape May @ 4pm and were tied-up at Utsch's Marina by 4:40pm. Hot showers, cold beer, and hot dinner. Spent the night at the marina sitting out a thunder storm that never came.... The Lucky Bones restaurant in Cape May has good food, but their seafood bisque isn't anywhere near as good as the lobster bisque we had in Branford. While at the marina, we met some guys delivering a Hunter PassageMaker 42 to Norfolk. They too were out in the Atlantic battling the waves – headed to Ocean City MD for a stopover on the way south – but decided to pull into Cape May for a respite (and a change of course – now they were going to go up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D canal, and down the Chesapeake to Norfolk). Two of their crew (Doug & Tom) helped us put on the dodger and bimini – which was much appreciated… The Hunter crew told us they were leaving at 7:30am the next morning and we decided to go out with them.

May 3: Monday – As I was walking back from buying coffee around 6:30am, I saw the Hunter pulling out… so much for leaving together. We left the marina @ 7:45am, exiting via the Cape May canal. Hit the bottom twice in the canal (and the boat only draws 4'10" - not marked very well!) but got off the mud just fine. There was dredge in the middle of the canal – I think they need to do the sides….

Caught the flood tide in the Delaware Bay and motored along between 6 - 7 knots. The wind was howling again, this time on our beam - according the radio, it was 25knots with gusts over 30, so the sails didn't come out.... At some point, the wind died down enough and we rolled out the jib and motor sailed some more, reaching 8.7 knots (woo hoo). We saw a boat motor-sailing coming up behind us (so of course we were now racing). We beat the boat to the C&D entrance… it was the Hunter (that left 1hr 15mins ahead of us). Once we were in the canal, they scooted on by (11 ft more waterline). It was 3:13pm when we entered the C&D. Nice peaceful ride through the C&D – motoring along over 6 knots…

We exited the C&D @ 5:50pm and decided to keep going as fast as we could. Followed the shipping channel down to Poole’s Island, turned right and followed another shipping channel over to Baltimore. Entered Jones Creek around 11pm and were tied up at Old Bay Marina, where Ernie will dock the ‘Lady Beatrice’ (soon to be renamed to ‘Catherine Marie’), by 11:30pm.

Adventure over… I got home a little after 2am Tuesday morning…

STARTED: 5:30am May 1
ENDED: 11:30pm May 3
Non motor-sailing time: approx 1.0 hr in Atlantic City and 15hrs in Cape May

Total time = 66 hrs
Total motor-sailing time = 50 hrs

Brian also took some video of the voyage, including crew interviews. There are four parts on YouTube, but here's the second one:

Well, at least now I have one more good, solid reason to go back to the U.S.

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