11 May 2014

Argon comes home


After many postponed attempts, Friday May 9 is the day!

I've asked for the day off many times to bring Argon home and for one reason or another, the trip would get scrubbed. My boss has started to doubt that I really have anything to do with sailboats. This time, it seemed that everything would work. The boat is really done... well a boat is never done but it was done enough. Bill Shaw Jr. along with his partner Ham Freeman from
New England Yacht Partners have worked tirelessly to get Argon ready for this day.

We got a lift from Linda's son Josh to Barrington Thursday night after work. We grabbed a pizza at Piezonis in Barrington and readied the boat and us for the next morning's departure.

The next day we were ready to shove off at 0700. But first... coffee.
First things First


Blame the weather
We were expecting a cold, rainy, windy ride all the way home. The forecasts nailed this perfectly except the "windy" part. We intended to leave at 0700 and hit the canal by 1700. The wind was supposed to be due south so we expected to be motoring south to buzzards bay. What we expected when we turned east into buzzards was to have a really fast beam or broad reach all the way up to the canal. What we got however was an unusually dead  buzzards bay so we ended up putting quite a few hours on this nice new engine. That's fine except that we had been filling the diesel tank 5 gal at a time from a portable container over the last several visits to the boat. We probably left the dock with around 24 gal in the 77 gal tank.  I expected to be motoring just a few hours in total but we probably did 8 just in the first leg to the canal.  By the time we got home we were on "E". However with this tank that could mean anything from 0 to 15 gal.

Ready to depart Barrington

Newport Bridge ahead


Hello Newport
Ever since the very first time sailing Fujin under Newport Bridge, we have a ritual where we get a picture of Linda at the helm with the span above her head. This time was no different except she was a lot colder than the other times.



A little sailing in Buzzards Bay
A couple times, we felt enough wind to try to sail. Aside from being very clumsy with the boat, it was just too light to make good time. We didn't want to be too late getting to the canal. For one thing the current would start against us at 1830.  For another thing, we planned on anchoring for the night just on the other side off of sagamore beach.  We wanted to get settled while there was still light and time enough to get some sleep before leaving early morning on Saturday for the remainder of the trip to Boston. So, we really didn't have the luxury of doing a nice slow relaxing sail for this part of the trip anyway. Finally, about 12 miles from the canal, we put up the full main and the reacher and made pretty good time sailing up to the entrance.

Approaching the entrance to the canal


Argon turns 100
Nautical Miles that is. While motoring in the canal, the odometer hit 100. We hope for many tens of thousands more.
The 100 in the top right corner of the right display is the total distance log


Settled for the night... or not
After a fast ride through the canal, we dropped the hook in approximately 20 feet of water just off of Sagamore Beach. "Approximately", because the depth gauge is not working. We put out 150 feet of chain and it held just fine. At first, we considered proceeding north toward home but the wind was very light and right behind us. Would have been a long, slow, cold night. We had a lovely dinner and turned in very early. We figured we would hit the road again around 0300 which should get us home late morning.

Re-engineering en route
For reasons too complex to get into here without fancy graphics or something, there is an issue with the way Argon's running rigging was configured that is just not conducive to easy (and safe) sailing. So while sitting on the anchor waiting for dinner, I re-did the main sheet and routed it to one of the cabin house top winches instead of to the winches on the cockpit combings near the helms.

Remove the main sheet block from the stb side of the boom. Tied off the bitter end of the sheet to the  padeye that the block used to be mounted to

Main sheet is now routed to the cabin house top spinlock and winch. This required moving the reefing line to the starboard side

Can't sleep, so let's get going
Our night at anchor started out pretty peaceful and calm and we both fell right asleep, but by around midnight the wind was howling in the rigging and we were bouncing all over the place. We decided that sleep was futile so we might as well haul up the anchor and start sailing. We bundled up, strapped the lights to our heads, donned life jackets and prepared for a cold night of sailing.

We have a habit of not telling each other when we're nervous until later. I was actually quite nervous about this idea. New boat. New anchor and anchor gear. Lots of wind. Dark and cold. What could possibly go wrong? Actually nothing went wrong and by 0100 we were sailing a broad reach through the night at around 8 kts with only a reefed main sail! Wow, is this boat fast! Linda went below and rested, while I took the first watch. A few times, I tried the search light to look for lobster traps. Never saw any while looking. Occasionally one would wiz by about 10 feet from the boat.

First Light and things look familiar
The sky started to get light (but still very overcast) around Scituate, MA. Linda came up and drove for a while while I tried to snooze a bit. We were still running with just a reefed main and the wind was steadily building. It was way too noisy down below to sleep.

Minot Light - about 15 miles to home
Needed a shower anyway
As we got in around the Boston Harbor Islands, we were sailing higher into the wind and not doing so well. Linda insisted we put out the Jib. The first attempt at that was a bit of a disaster.  We collected ourselves and tried again and then we were back to cooking along at 8 kt with a nice fun amount of heeling. Right about now, it started pouring. The boat and us got a nice hose-down.

Boston harbor just before the deluge

Turning into our home port at Constitution Marina

Safe at home
We radioed into Constitution Marina and asked for assistance getting docked. Chief Pilot Linda pulled us in perfectly and before long we were tied up and eating breakfast.
Linda still in her foul weather gear poses on Argon in her new slip



Photos from Android




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