Subtitle: That sucked.
Start: Delaware City, DE
End: Cape May, NJ
Moving Time: 10:11*
Distance: 57.3 NM*
Average: 5.6 knot
First trip over 50 miles.
First ‘night’ sail (OK…so we we left at darkish)
First sail in the rain on this trip. Jan don’t do rain!
First time that we forgot to feed the dog. And he was NOT happy!
First time under a bridge that Jan didn’t freak out. Because she was freaking out about the railroad bridge following the big bridge. The railroad bridge was open but it was a relatively narrow opening and that was causing said freaking out.
Normally I’d be posting pictures of our great day of sailing or adventure. I’ve got one photo. One. That we took at the beginning of the day while we thought we were going to have a GOOD day. It was gorgeous then. Seems like a different time.
Our day began at 0455. We got up early to get the good current south. The Delaware River is long enough going south that you can catch part of a good current but sometime you will have it against you. We opted to get the current early in the part of the river that was narrower and would give us more push. Don and Peg were out early–Don hit the river by 0430 and made us look bad. We got up, walked dog, brewed coffee, fired up engines and were out by 0530. We called it our first night sail, even though there was a bit of light to help us along.
And for two hours life was good. We watched the sunrise over the river. We were running at over 7 knots. The river was calm. All was well with the world. I wasn’t even unhappy that a monohull went screaming by us like we were standing still!
And then? Everything turned to crap.
Apparently there is an interaction that happens between winds and current and when they don’t go in the same direction, or change direction or oppose each other, it causes rough seas. We got an real life lesson at about 0800 when the current began to switch. And the wind picked up a bit. And waves appeared as if out of nowhere. And our smooth, fun ride, got uncomfortable.
I could see that Don and Peg, who were about two miles ahead of us at this point, had taken a hard left and were heading to the bail out point, the Cohansey River. They were, they said, not having any fun and would anchor the night and start out early tomorrow morning to finish the trip. Jan and I took a left and thought about joining them. Then we looked at the forecast for Friday and it didn’t look much better than today. Doing that conversation the falling was heard:
“This sucks. But if we stop here it will probably suck tomorrow and I’d rather have one day suck instead of two”
That about summed it up and on we went. So we spend the next five hours getting hammered by waves. Water crashing over our bows. Blowing up our drains (not as exciting as it sounds). Slamming into our boat and causing creaks and bangs and other unexplained noises. While that was happening, we had a multiple other things causing us some stress:
1. Water was pouring in the starboards hull from somewhere. We had water in the bilge each of the days that we had rough weather, and we couldn’t find out where it was coming from. Until today when I went into the bathroom and opened the back cubby door in the shower, stuck my hand down and found gallons of water. So water is good for a boat. We ride on top of water. We have water to drink on our boat. BUT water in strange spaces that comes in through unknown ways is very, very, very bad. Queue full freak out mode.
Our pump was at the very front of the boat. Which was bouncing about 15 feet up and down in the air. Up I walk. Well, I walk until I get a third of the way up and then I drop on my derriere and crab walk to the front locker. It is like a fantastic amusement park ride, or bucking bronco ride. Except little river immediately to my left.
We got our pump and removed the water, closed all through hulls, and stuck our heads, hands and whatever else would fit into the holes until we found the culprit. A hole in a lazarette that is used to drain water OUT of the space into the water was instead taking on water because our boat is so low (too much stuff). So we got some sealant from the bin o’ tools and plugged it up and solved problem one.
2. The dinghy was moving all around on the back because of the waves. Engine was being caught by waves and knocking the snot out of the back of the boat. Which meant continually adjusting the steps holding the dinghy to the boat.
3. The dog was in full freak out mode. He was under our feet and lunged outside the enclosure every time we walked outside. Which was not a good place for him to be. He sat and shook and was generally pathetic. Which was behavior totally unlike him. Until we remembered (at 4pm) that we forgot to feed him. DOH! Good news? He got double kibble when we got to the marina and is napping like a baby on the couch.
So at 1500, we get to the channel taking us to Cape May. Jan has phobias about bridges and there were two 55 foot on the route. Which she didn’t freak out about! We dutifully made note.
AJ, for those of you keeping track at home, was absolutely fine. He spent the day in his cabin on the iPad. The iPad made it the entire trip, kudos to Mr. Apple and their batteries. Tomorrow, we are back on the school thing.
We arrived at the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, NJ and got settled in. We will be here for 3-4 (probably four) days due to a weather front moving into the area. So the plan is to rent a car and explore the area and when the weather supports head around the coast and begin the trip to New York. And, oh by the way, do some much needed work on the boat!!!
*Records (to date) for the trip. Of course, we are only five days in!!