Monthly Archives: October 2016

New York to Virginia

Toodle-oo! is on the go! It’s tough to keep the blog going while all sorts of things are going on, but will do my best…

We arrived in Port Washington on Friday where Jamin was moored and took up one of the other free moorings while it rained and poured. Unfortunately, the weather was set to turn even more bleak – with high winds forecast – so rather than enjoy ourselves in a relaxed manner, we had to take advantage of a lull in the weather – just as we were settling in for sundowners – to remove the main and stuff it into the cockpit so that we could affect some repairs later on.

The wind was up – 25-35 kts and in the shallow water, the surf was running. Never the less, we decided to make a trip to shore – Laurie had arranged a haircut and we got various little bits and pieces for the boat. The dinghy ride to shore was miserable but the ride back was just plain silly – with Jane watching our return with winds gusting to 36 knots!!! We were drenched!

Sunday we stayed aboard all day and managed to get the necessary temporary repairs made to the sail.

Monday with winds still up, we ventured out to town for lunch where Mike and Jane fessed up that they were throwing in the towel and heading home. Such a shame after so much preparation and anticipation. Too bad… In the evening we met on Jamin with a couple of other boats – Jim and Louise (Salacia) and Jos and Erica (Endless Summer) – enjoyed a few beverages and discussed the weather… Jos and Erica are also headed towards Norfolk Virginia…

The weather forecast for getting south to Virginia was not really very good – with high winds set for Tuesday and no winds for Wednesday. We set off anyway and had a great sail past NYC and the Statue of Liberty

Empire State

Empire State

WTC - Financial Center

WTC – Financial Center

Liberty!

Liberty!

and then out into the open sea where fortunately the forecast winds were somewhat lighter and we made great progress through Tuesday to the mouth of the Delaware. Not quite as good as Endless Summer however – they caught and past us! :-( Then the wind stopped and we ended up motoring basically for the entire day, finally reaching the mouth of the Chesapeake at about 1:00am on Thursday morning. We anchored (in the rolliest location!) and crashed for what remained of the night. Later in the morning we made our way to Hampton and have ended up in a very tight little anchorage in downtown Hampton. Really great! We also managed to drop off our main for repairs – which got rather larger on the way south, with both lower battens popping out of the sail. The restraining Velcro has apparently given up…

The Salty Dawg Rally puts on seminars in the week leading up to the rally – and this morning (Friday) we were anticipating a very useful talk from Quantum about sail repair. Unfortunately, he didn’t show up – so we instead learned how to fish! Actually quite interesting – we’ll see if we can hook some dinner along the way!

We’re feeling like our new life is about to start and are both really looking forward to the adventure.

 

And then it gets better…

Thursday, October 20th  –  Huntingdon, NY

Finally on Wednesday October 19th, 2016 we’re on our way. It’s been a while in the planning but here we go on the voyage of a lifetime!

Just a short first jaunt to Fisher’s Island in Long Island Sound – and unfortunately it was a motoring experience the whole way. Never-the-less, we’re now on our way. We anchored in West Harbor and settled in to watch the ridiculous 3rd debate between Hilary and Donald – with a weak TV signal augmented with the Radio!

Today, we got up at dawn – not that early this time of year – and set off with a fine forecast down Long Island Sound headed for Port Jefferson. With 20+knot winds behind us we were able to make great progress in the right direction and when the tide turned in our favor, we managed to make over 11 knots over ground at times while surfing down a wave! In the end, because we were making such good progress, we decided to change destination and instead headed a little further to Huntingdon on Long Island’s north coast, just 15 miles or so short of Port Washington where we’d be able to hook up with Mike and Jane on Jamin.

Unfortunately, along the way, with winds building and changing direction slightly we had to gibe and reef at the same time. In the process, we managed to rip the luff of the mainsail and break one of the batten attachments… We now had a  fresh item on the to-do list to attend to… We sailed the rest of the way with the main reefed to second reef – not really enough to power Toodle-oo! through the swells – but even so we ended up anchoring in Huntingdon, 71 miles away after only 10 hours of sailing! Not a bad average speed!

Tomorrow we head to Port Washington to meet Jane and Mike – and to enact some sail repairs.

Meanwhile, over the last couple of days we’ve decided a new cruising plan – instead of NY – Bermuda – Bahamas – Cuba – Panama, we’re thinking NY – Hampton – Salty Dawg Rally to BVI’s – Bahamas – Panama… Shame to miss out on Cuba but our insurance company is willing to insure us – but with a theft exclusion. Since Toodle-oo! is our only abode, this isn’t something we’re keen on risking – so unless things change…

Plans laid in sand at low tide…

 

 

Worser and Worser!

It keeps getting worse…

After finally getting launched after 4 weeks living at the top of a ladder, I noticed that our freshly rejuvenated fridge was icing up at the compressor – is that right??? The folks that recharged the system dutifully came down to let a little out – and then we found that our freezer (complete with about $500 worth of frozen meat in it) was also on the blink…. Cha Ching… at least they we able to come to our aid quickly!

We finally departed from Portsmouth,RI on Tuesday October 18th – ready to start our circumnavigation. First stop? Newport Ri – Hailing port for Toodle-oo! and we had a nice meet with David and Leann on Moonshot, an Amel 53 they’d just purchased (first boat!) and had just completed their maiden sail… Good luck mates – I’m sure you’ll have an absolute blast!

Laurie’s brother Neal and Kathy came around for dinner – Confit de Canard no less – and we had a very jolly evening with them – as something of a final sendoff…

 

Repairs Continue

It’s been a frustrating 3 weeks since we arrived at New England Boatworks somewhat abruptly. We’ve been living at the top of a ladder and it’s getting rather old! However, boat chores are being accomplished, though it seems our spending has gone waaaay out of control…

NEB, whose praises I was singing in the spring have fallen somewhat flat – in that they don’t actually seem able to diagnose problems very well. Toodle-oo! has developed a severe engine vibration which manifests itself in relatively boisterous seas when motor sailing. Typically at the crest of a wave when on port tack. The engine goes into a serious vibration for a short time and then settles. I thought this was due to an alignment issue but they’ve measured the alignment and concluded all is fine. Their plan therefore was to put the boat back in the water and sea trial her… I’d just sea trialled her all the way from Newfoundland – with no changes, what’s the point. Another enterprise here suggested that the folding propeller was not in great shape and maybe the cause – so we opted to follow that advise and buy a new prop – it took 10 days to arrive…

While on the hard, I decided to try to eliminate a small leak in the thruhull for the head. It’s been slowly leaking ever since we had the boat. So I re-lapped it with grinding paste and thought I had it licked, but as the holding tank filled, it started again. I had another go – and it got worse. I tried again – worse still. After the 4th try, I figured the seacock needed replacement – which involves a new thruhull… I don’t feel qualified to do that – so here we are, week 3 with a hole in the side of the boat and no head to pee into! (Laurie is not a happy camper!)

We’d hoped to be able to get away faster and on our way south via the Chesapeake – but that’s not going to happen. Instead we’ll drive to the Chesapeake to attend the OCC dinner there and the boat show. We’ll probably leave from Rhode Island to Bermuda – or perhaps from New York to Bermuda instead of going to the Chesapeake…

Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew is barreling up the coast towards us offering further delays!

Our plans from here – to Bermuda from either Rhode Island or New York, then on to the Bahamas, to Cuba then Panama and then down the west coast of South America…

Plans all laid in the sand at low tide…

 

Sad News… Brother-in-Law Dustin succumbed to Leukemia this week. He’d been fighting an amazing battle, but the wheels all came off a couple of weeks ago and there was nothing left to do. All his family and grandkids were there at the end to offer support and comfort. Dustin will be sorely missed.