Sound Bites and Memories

img_6101.jpg We've been living aboard our sailboat now for over half a year, though for much of it the learning curve was too steep to know how to make things more comfortable. We've reached our summer destination, New England, which has allowed us to slow down a little and focus on fixing things and generally improving life aboard the boat. That said, the list of what's left may as well be endless, as the list seems to grow quicker than we can mark things off.

A Summer Gale

img_5994.jpg We've been exploring the northeast at a more pleasurable rate lately, moving our boat on the weekends and staying in one place during the week, an opportunity to explore, work on the boat, and stay caught up with the office. For this to be possible, it does require that the weather cooperate on our schedule, which in the past few weeks it has done amazingly well. Sailing from Greenport to Block Island we'd have more enjoyed smaller than the 4 foot seas that greeted us, but the wind on our stern allowed as to jibe back and forth and maintain a comfortable angle to the waves as we passed through Block Island sound.

This weekend, however, the forecast has remained rather fluid, the prediction seeming to change every time I reload the web page, from complete calm with little 2 foot waves up to a full on gale with 9 feet swells. In that same vein of poor predictions, last night the forecast called for a little wind and rain and a small craft advisory in the area. Shortly after night fell, however, winds climbed up toward 40 knots (~45 mph) putting us at an 8 on the Beaufort scale. By midnight we'd already witnessed a power boat playing bumper-boat through the mooring field complete with a yapping dog and panicked woman, fortunately quickly followed by a tow boat who went on to have a very busy night.

Downeaster Alexa

If you have ever listened to the words of the Billy Joel Song, Downeaster Alexa then you would have heard of the places Jeremy and I have been getting familar with of late. The area is filled with choice locations that are well known summer destinations such as Montauk, Greenport, Block Island, and the Hamptons. It was a difficult decision to choose our next destination, but in the end we decided to head over to Greenport.


Jeremy, Micah, and I emerged through a thick fog into a land of lighthouses, mooring fields and quaint houses by the sea just like a scene out of book. You probably could not choose a more mystical way of entering Mystic, Connecticut if you tried. foggy.jpg We spent much of the gray morning trying to find a reasonably priced marina or mooring field that wasn't full up. It was more of a challenge than we imagined. Connecticut is the most expensive area we have seen yet. We finally found a marina slip that was expensive, but wouldn't break the bank.

As We Sailed Into the Mystic

img_5627.jpg We had hoped to quickly reach New York City from Baltimore, following the C&D Canal from the Chesapeake into Delaware Bay and to the outside, north along the New Jersey coast. Cruising along outside of Ocean City in 4-5 foot seas, Jamie went below to prepare some dinner and evidently stayed there too long, succumbing to that queasy feeling marking the awful beginning of sea sickness. Rather than risk making her suffer all night, we instead turned in toward Great Egg Harbor hoping to find a place to anchor for the night.

Back on the Boat

Life seems to be coming at me pretty fast things days. Baltimore.jpg One second I was signing up with a traveling company in Baltimore, and the next thing I know I am flying home to Oregon to go to my grandmother's funeral and my good friend, Jake's wedding. I suddenly find myself one year older with one grandparent left, sick, still no job, and a pile of things in the corner of my mind that I thought I would achieve during this trip.


img_5389-0.jpg Our intention to quickly head up the outside toward New England was aborted when some thunderstorms passed overhead and the winds picked up beyond our comfort level. Heading back into the Chesapeake, our steering failed again and we discovered how difficult it is to take down the sails when they're full of wind. (Normally you turn up into the wind which releases the pressure and makes it simple. img_5368-0.jpg We've since had it pointed out that even without steering all we really needed to do was tighten the sails and let the boat turn herself into the wind which she naturally does under sail.) With the sails down, the prevailing currents started carrying us toward a nearby container ship, so for another first we dropped our anchor in over seventy feet of water. The short trip ended with another visit by our new best friends, Tow Boat US, who kindly towed us back into Norfolk for repairs.

Inside, Running Aground, Chesapeake Bay

img_5141.jpg Our trip from Charleston to Beaufort went as smoothly as hoped. The light winds had allowed the sea state to calm down considerably, though sadly they also required that we motor-sail the entire way. Thunderstorms were visible in the distance throughout the first day, but when night fell we had a beautiful and unhindered view of the stars. img_5188.jpg The Milky Way was very pronounced, and I spent some time learning a few constellations.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Sailors have a tendency to be superstitious. Perhaps we're not good sailors, as Jamie and I tend to ignore the many superstitions out there -- we'll set sail on a Friday if the weather is favorable, we'll carry black traveling bags, we're not afraid of red headed strangers, we step on the boat with whatever foot is comfortable, and we'd never waste wine by pouring it on the deck for "good luck". I personally like the circular irony in the belief that it's bad luck to be superstitious. So when things start breaking, I really can't blame it on anything but our inexperience as we climb the steep learning curve.

Heading Up the East Coast

I apologize that I have not been keeping Jibnotes current. I will attempt to catch up on our adventures throughout the next couple days. arrivinginmiami.jpg We are slowly, but surely making our way up the East coast. Along the way we have been visiting friends, trying new things, and realizing that reaching Maine by June 1st is probably a pipe dream. At this rate it looks like we will be lucky to reach the Baltimore area in time for the annual APTA(American Physical Therapy Association) conference June 10th-13th.