Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Missing Days

I apologize for having worried all of you.  I knew you would be worried, and there was nothing I could do. No cell service and no way to get to service.

Last Wednesday (the 15th), we limped into Atlantic Highlands, NJ very late at night (2 am or so... common for sailors... you go with the wind and conditions, sleep is for when they're not favorable)  The next day winds were predicted to increase and be from the wrong direction, so we elected to pull up the anchor and move into the harbor where it's more protected.  We filled up on gas, did some grocery shopping, set a couple of anchors, did anchor watch all night, everything went well.  Around 1:30 Friday afternoon, things were looking lovely.  Couldn't really sail, but certainly could motor out around Sandy Hook.  So we left the harbor and headed out.  About 15 minutes out, the engine overheated.

Jamie raised a sail, but without wind, you just don't get very far.  I sat in the cockpit and goofed off on the Internet (on my phone) while he tried to cheer up the ailing engine.  Suddenly the wind came up and he was yelling at me to steer, dammit!  LOL... and so I did.  We sailed throughout the afternoon and evening, into the wee hours of Saturday morning.  And then the winds started.  And the seas got higher.  And the winds got higher.  And the seas got higher.  By Saturday around 10 AM, we weren't exactly controlling the boat.  Keep in mind that we still had no engine, and no engine means no recharging the batteries.  We were also past the southern tip of the Jersey shore, passing the mouth of the Delaware bay, so no cell service.

For two days, the winds blew and the seas roared.  Early on, I tried to lay in a bunk.  I let go of the side for 10 seconds and was immediately swept to the floor (hitting my head in the process, of course).  Spend the next two days sleeping upright, sick as a dog.  Didn't have the energy to use the head, not that standing was possible.  You can probably start to envision the lack of fun here.

Once it stopped storming (we had "hove to" which essentially means you let out a few inches of sail and lock the rudder in the opposite direction so that you kind of zig zag through the ocean), we found that we had been blown about 25 miles further east (out into the Atlantic).  So that took another day and a half of sailing (still no engine) to get back close to the coast, and then another day and a half before we could get to the mouth of the Chesapeake  Bay... the winds, of course, were not cooperative.

So there's that part.  Again, I'm sorry I worried you all.  You were on my mind constantly (as constantly as possible) and I got in touch at the absolutely earliest opportunity.

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