A year ago and the day after Thanksgiving our car was packed like a sausage when we left CA heading east for parts unknown. Were we going to find a boat?? Head to Europe on the cruise and then stay there?? Get an apartment in FL and hangout??
As we traveled across the country trying to stay ahead of the bad weather these questions went round and round during our conversations. In the end finding our boat won out and we haven’t regretted the decision. We finalized the purchase of Masterplan on January 22nd and since then the time and miles traveled had flown by. I honestly never thought we would make it past St. Mary GA but we did and got as far north as Cape Cod. Looking back there are so many memories to chuckle over and so many fun times spent with family and friends. Even the episodes that at the time created so much anxiety are now things we look at each other shake our head and smile, knowing we survived and learned from.
How is it that we didn’t total the boat that first day in the Canaveral Lock? How surprise and pissed was I on day #2 when we got stuck on that sandbar and had to be towed off? Remember the sound of the antenna’s scrapping the underside of that bridge that should have been opened? We never did figure out what it’s called when you collect thousands of moths during a transit off the coast of Jersey. What is it with Jersey as there was also an unlucky bird that got inside the boat that didn’t quite make it back out alive. Our 2 picture perfect trips by Manhattan as we headed to and from CT are just more highlights of the things we saw as we motored along the East Coast. We had great stops along the way at various islands and cities both large and quite small, always with some kind of adventure while seeing new things and meeting lots of people. I still think back on how cool it was to see Masterplan docked by the US Eagle or when the aircraft carrier went by 50 feet off our beam during the Navy’s prep for Hurricane Sandy.
We have a better idea of what our tolerance limits are and what is involved in getting from point A to B. Even during “Sandy” lessons for next time were being stored away. Can’t quite promise Stan that I won’t drive him crazy again during the next hurricane but I really do try not to. Where we go once we get to Key West is still up in the air but we know more experiences are out there awaiting us.
Is what happens when you find yourselves unexpectedly in 8 foot seas. Add a dose of seasickness and you get a good idea of how our latest 32 hours transit from Morehead City NC to Charleston SC turned out. Thankfully the 8 foot seas occurred at night so we didn’t have the visual impact to go along with the feeling and hearing part of things.
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper and was very glad to get docked at the Charleston Maritime Center. The seas ended up bigger that predicted and since we were 30 miles offshore due to having to get around Cape Fear there was not a whole lot we could do. Trying to sleep while off watch with all the added noise of stuff moving around and the random creaks and groan from this old gal (both old gals) did not help the situation. Of course Stan can sleep through anything but I am not so lucky. At the point in time when I asked what can we do, we were 30 miles offshore and about 30 miles from where the shore met us heading southwest so we kept on going. Dawn brought some calming seas and by time we go to the offshore buoy in Charleston we were beginning to wonder if we just imagined it all. Then I looked around and saw all the stuff that never moves, moved and I began playing 52 pickup. My next task is to get out the earthquake putty and re-stick items that had been stuck before and stick all the items that never needed it in the past. Amazing that nothing broke and once again our sturdy little ship came through for us.
Now we have to jockey 2 weather issues this week and next and get to Hilton Head SC.
Once again I am falling down on my blog postings but it’s been a bit crazy as of late. First up we had the “Sandy” dance while in Portsmouth VA. It started with a huge geographical game of musical boats as we all tried to jockey into place for our seat at the show. I think the Air Craft Carrier going by 50′ off our side decks had to have been the coolest part of the whole experience.
As you all know we rode that out with no mishaps and thankfully our conditions were less than predicted. Unfortunately, NJ, NY and CT weren’t so lucky and are still dealing with the aftermath. Next up was once again a large geographical bottle neck of boats trying to get heading back down south on the ICW. We again had no water underway as the new pump failed the first day, the toilet clogged and the shore power was screwed up so we had no heat (only about 40 degrees that night.) Stan got his not too pleasantly delivered marching orders to get this stuff fixed so he has been working away on the new “to do quickly list”.
We still have a boat that is basically tossed from top to bottom with “stuff” that was brought inside so it wouldn’t blow away during Sandy. It was kinda “why bother” as blow #2 is coming which thankfully blew by with little fanfare. Once this rain stops the only excuse I will have now is that it is just too cold outside to want to venture out. I am so missing the warm weather and am having flip flop withdrawals. It may be a bit before we catch up to warm weather again.
Here is Stan with this evening’s project of putting together our new “weather station.” The size of this thing was unexpectedly large, at least to me, and it is replacing our long ago broken one that was about 4″ x 4″. Stan got tired of me harping on him to replace the broken one. I guess he doesn’t understand my need to know the current wind speed. After all, living on a boat and traveling in the ocean should be a tip off to him as to why I think it’s important. Now I have a new item to try and figure out how to use.
Along with learning this one will be the new “AIS” system that we are getting on Friday which hopefully we will have installed sooner than later. (Hint, Hint)
We decided to make a run for it and en-route, since the weather was holding and the waves weren’t too bad, we kept on going directly into Hampton VA 48 hours later. We started with taking spray over the windshield and side of the boat in Long Island Sound. Those pesky 30 knot winds have a habit of doing that. Then we blew through Hell Gate at a peak of 13.1 knots (per our GPS). Our timing with the current kept pushing us right on past Battery Park an hour earlier than expected and continued until it spit us into the Atlantic off Sandy Hook. It was a pretty cool ride.
To try and time us coming into Atlantic City during daylight we would have had to slow down for 4 hours and since we had such a good run going, we bypassed it. During day #2 a bird flew into the pilot house and then got into the salon. I spent 2 hours trying to get him back out with no luck and Stan slept through the whole event even though it went on all around him. Finally I got the fishing net and corralled him with that. Unfortunately he wasn’t looking too good when I turned him loose. I don’t think he was long for this world when he fell into the ocean. Bird # 2 that came in for a visit was more fortunate and escaped alive.
We did start getting 4-6 foot rolling waves off of Delaware that continued though VA until we turned into Chesapeake Bay. During my night watch I was glad that I could not see the size of the waves as feeling them was enough to put me on edge. I have now decided that over 6 footers are out of my comfort range and unless we have no choice I would prefer to be tied to the dock. At least now I know what is too big for me!
We arrived 48 hours after we left CT, tired, relieved (at least I was) and ready to chill out. Having warmer weather certainly helps get us motivated to start getting more items knocked off our never ending “to do” list. We had to add to the list to replace the fresh water pump that went out 15 min after leaving the dock in CT. Imagine how interesting a 48 hour transit was with no running water, especially when you need fresh water to flush the toilets. Luckily we had stocked up on bottled water before we left. We now need to re-stock the bottled water once again. Also, added to the list is the raw water pump on the starboard engine that decided to start leaking on the trip.
Oh well, something always happens to keep life interesting.
We missed our weather window for leaving Stamford CT and going on a straight shot into Hampton VA on Friday as we were having way to much fun in NYC. On Friday when we got back to the boat, the plan was to leave Saturday morning with Eric and Xavier on board to do the transit back through NY and into Staten Island. At 5 am on Saturday, when I read the prior days weather brief (that I should have read Friday), I realized that it was a no go. Stan didn’t put up too much of a fight as it only took him about a nano second to roll over and go back to sleep. I was disappointed that E & X would miss out on doing the Hell Gate transit around NYC.
Now we will have big wind and waves this week off of Jersey and Delaware coast from TS Rafael that will churn up the seas as it heads north, although well offshore. Maybe we are looking at a good window opening next Saturday. Today, as I was pouring over weather reports and alternative routing with small jumps down the coast I kept seeing these different daily forecasts with anywhere from 20-30 knot winds and seas from 3-5 and 5-8 feet on different days . So my question is when are seas too big to venture out? Can I handle 3-5 foot as I know 5-8 foot is out of the question? Will it be worse than predicted? Probably! Would I rather be stuck here in CT or Great Kills, NY? I know Stan and he will push to go as his tolerance is greater than mine. Not really sure that just “following along” with him will be a good thing this time.
As a wiser person than us stated later today:
“It’s better to be at anchor wishing you were at sea than at sea wishing you were at anchor. Don’t rush or think “how bad could it be?”
Funny, as I had asked myself numerous times this morning, how bad could it be? Maybe we need to re-think our plan to leave on Tuesday and wait this thing out. Do I really want us to get spanked by Mother Nature?