04 July 2015

Sailing New England and New York

Taking Off: Summery 2015

Time to Finally Do Some Real Sailing!

We have been quite sparse with the blogging this season and have featured mainly boat projects. Very cool boat projects in our opinion (Wifi, AIS, Davits) and we have been sailing but mainly just Boston Harbor and loops around the Islands except for a long haul to Newport in May to catch the Volvo Ocean Race whilst in town.  But now, we are in the early days of many weeks on the water - Aaaahhhhh :-).  Linda is fortunate to be entering a six week hiatus courtesy of Biogen's new mini sabbatical program.  Bob will spread out his more modest vacation time from Atlas by taking most Thursday's and Friday's off.

Pre trip dinner with two of the three boys, Jon and Christian

All provisioned with the new dinghy and new davits, ready to go!
Linda spent day 1 (July 1) provisioning, cleaning filters, filling water tanks, and preparing Argon for several weeks on the water whilst Bob hurriedly banged out more programming magic for Atlas.  We aimed to leave between 1400 and 1600 to ensure we could catch a positive current in the Cape Cod Canal.

Working on deadlines and averting craptastrophies.  Can you see the smoke coming out of his ears from all the serious programming?
We left Constitution Marina at 1600 Wednesday 1 July, motored over to Mystic Fuel to top of the tank and began our journey.  Bob was still working as we were underway leaving Boston Harbor.

Note the Bluetooth in his ear.  Bob had a 1630 teleconference that he took while we left the fuel dock.
Our new dinghy (Neon) and new davits with Boston in the background.  

Fantastic wind as we enter this first leg and prepare to sail through the night.
General Principles for this Sailing Trip

  • Maximize sailing to motoring ratio
  • Minimize pre-set "have to be x by y" and let the wind and our moods dictate where we go and when.  This being said, we have the following targets:
    • New York City / Liberty Landing (NJ side of Hudson) 5-9 July
    • Return to Boston approximately 23/24 July for a Tartan event at our marina before heading out again for another 10 days
    • Return to Boston again by 6 or 7 August to prepare to fly to Amsterdam (Joshua's wedding)
  • Relax, reflect, re-energize, and re-connect
Plan A:  (initial leg)
Practice longer haul sailing and associated shift changes between co-captains by sailing non-stop from Boston to Port Washington, NY (~40 hours and well over 200nm; Port Washington is on the western most part of Long Island just before Throgs Neck and entrance to the East River).  However, to stay true to General Principle #1 above we left plenty of time in our itinerary to allow for Plan B.

Plan B:
Wait for wind to minimize motoring - which proved to be needed.  

Boston to Cape Cod Canal was fantastic.  We also sailed nicely for the first many hours in Buzzards Bay, until we didn't.

Bob took the 2000 to 2400 shift while Linda slept bringing Argon to the mouth of the Cape Cod Canal in only 7.5 hours from Boston.  Wind was a perfect 12-15kts out of the southwest.  Gorgeous full moon.

Linda motored through a positive current in the Cape Cod Canal humming along over hull speed at 10+kts while Bob got some shut eye.  We were greeted by the expected headwind and churn coming out of the Canal which served to wake Bob from his rest.  But seas were calm ahead as Linda aimed high into a light SW wind averaging 5kts still under a brilliant full moon.  Sailing alone at night is a mixture of staying extremely alert and being calmly introspective.  

Watching the sun rise while sailing slowly in Buzzards Bay the morning of Thursday 2 July.
Fifteen hours in to our trip, we reluctantly took down the sails and began motoring.  After several hours of motoring, to stay true to General Principle 1, we tucked in to a cove in the western most part of Massachusetts to wait for the predicted better winds.  Alas, the wind data proved faulty and after hauling anchor, we toggled between motoring and slow sailing for many hours (mostly motoring unfortunately).  We decided to fully shift to Plan B and tuck in to beautiful West Harbor at Fisher Island.  

Brilliant sunset at anchor Fisher Island evening of Thursday 2 July.

Linda examined the wind and current forecasts and deemed a 0600 departure to be ideal.  We were both exhausted and slept soundly in this quiet harbor.  Thumbs up on Great Harbor Fisher Island.  

Pajama and coffee sailing 0630 hrs

Close reach in 10kts heading westward in Long Island Sound.

We hit 2000 nm on Argon west of Fisher Island.  We have a similar picture of us form last year (season 1 with Argon) when we hit 1000 nm east of Cape Cod Provincetown.  (When Bob saw this picture, he decided to shave and get a haircut.  See below.)
To prepare for his birthday, Bob shaved and Linda gave him a haircut while underway.  
The sailing from Fisher Island started out great.  We were taking advantage of the current doing 8kts in 11kts breeze close reach with the Genoa.  But then the wind died abruptly, as if someone just turned off the jets.  After motoring for another couple of hours with skepticism on the wind returning, we examined options and set a course for Port Jefferson.  So much for the non-stop long leg (Plan A) but we much prefer sailing over motoring and we still have flexibility in our timing (Plan B).

Port Jefferson Ferry shuttling passengers and vehicles between LI and CT.

Summer cottages dot the harbor.

Shallow Pirate Cove surrounded by interesting and lovely dunes.  We took the dinghy over and explored the dunes.  Really cool place (except for the broken glass that dotted the beach).

Very peaceful night except for a small group partying very loudly until wee hours of the morning.  It was quite comical to note the fitting name of the noisy boat the next morning. 

Happy Birthday, Bob!!!
Newly shaved and hair trimmed for his birthday today, July 4!!
After examining the wind and currents yesterday, we decided to leave Port Jefferson at 0800 for a 30  nm leg to Port Washington Manhasset Bay where we have a dock slip reserved for tonight to celebrate both Bob's birthday and the 4th.  The winds were as expected 8-12kts out of the east - perfect for a spinnaker run so we hoisted right away! We learned that our main is just too big and substantially interferes with spinnaker performance, at least in lighter winds. 

Nope, that's not right.

That's better!  A fantastic 30nm run to Manhasset Bay.
Soon we will be tied up to a dock slip celebrating Bob's birthday, the 4th of July, and the many blessings in our lives.

Below is a track of our journey to date, only the first four days.  Courtesy of Bob's Android and web service thingy.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! Can't wait to get together with you guys. Curious to know how your trip through Hells Gate went…


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