"There is nothing more pleasant than cruising on a boat with the whole family."
Letter from Empress Catherine the Great

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 15 - 18 -- Three Hectic Days; Then "Free At Last" -- City Island to Clinton CT -- 65 NM

First came three hectic days: 1) Completion of the electrical installation of the new windlass by Ed Spallina, assisted by me. The old one had two heavy cables leading to the motor, one black and one red. The new one has two reds and a black, so I bought a 2.5 foot piece of zero gauge heavy duty red cable, to which Bridge Marine affixed 5/8 inch lugs at both ends. many other clever adjustments and eureka! It works!
2)  A day devoted to detailing our apartment in anticipation of the arrival of AJ, a friend who will be watching our apartment for us during our cruise. He has allergies so everything was dusted and all drawers including those in the refrigerator were made cleaner than they have been in the last ten years. We also packed up all the stuff we will need for transportation to the boat. A period of potential marital conflicts, which we avoided or settled amicably.
3) Saturday we broke our bonds to the shore at last and moved aboard. I met AJ’s flight at Kennedy airport at 5:35 a.m. Lene gave him a tour of our apartment to show how things work and we went on a long stroll through our neighborhood, pointing out the facilities he might wish to use. Then it was time to load the car with our stuff and AJ volunteered to come along.
We offloaded from the car into two carts, hauled them to the launch and then to the boat and stowed the stuff while Lene shopped for perishables at a local market. The only problem was that Ed had locked the padlock that stops entry to the boat. No problem, we carry a bolt cutter. But it did not cut. Plan B: the hack saw; but it was not making a dent either. Plan C: I used a file to sharpen the bolt cutter's blades and then with all of the strength of both AJ and me, it cut. Good thing too, because soon thereafter the heavens opened up and we had just enough time to get things below, but very little of the stuff put away. Lene came back with two more cart loads of food and all perishables were stowed while Whitty and Alfie got reacquainted with their home away from home. Then after lunch at the Club I drove back to our apartment to park the car for the summer, said good by to AJ, and took the subway and bus back to the boat, dined aboard and a good night's sleep, though very foggy and humid. But the third stressful day before departure broke the bond with the land, though not with New York City.
On Fathers Day we finally set off, one day later than scheduled, and Lene asked to avoid the overnight sail by making it two day sails instead. When to leave? Roger said earlier, Lene said later. We resolved it: When we are ready, which turned out to be 9:10 a.m., after removal of everything from the aft (storage) cabin and repacking it using the new plastic milk crates we had bought for the purpose. I also checked the battery water which was OK and stowed a lot of cat food with the batteries below the berth.  Where to stay for the night? We thought of the Marina in Mattituck, Long Island but they have raised their rates to $4.50 per foot, per night. Ouch! We considered several other places and ended selecting the Cedar Island Marina in Clinton, CT., less expensive but with good services.

At the beginning of the passage there was no wind so we motored but we put up sails off Manhasset and the winds just built all day. We had full main and genoa and were only overpowered for a little while. We passed south and close to Falkner Island and got this Hopper-like photo of its lighthouse.  

I saw this big boy from about eight miles away and saw that we were on a near collision course. On channel 13 we talked and he agreed to alter course to port to avoid us. Very polite.
It was a starboard reach all the way on a warm day of hazy sun and winds, from 10 to 30 knots, near our beam. Four times, when boat speed dropped below 5 knots, we turned the engine back on for from five to fifteen minutes, thereby disproving the accusation of some of my friends that I am a sailing purist. We arrived at 6:10,  underway for 9 hours and 40 minutes - an average speed of just about seven knots. The sail was a terrific Father’s Day present from God and we have broken free from home at last. Nova Scotia, here we come!

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