Joshua Cove

The editing job I was supposed to start got pushed another week. Again. What to do? Go sailing of course. A favorite quote of mine though hardly was I was embarking on a voyage, “To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest”, Sterling Hayden

I grabbed enough food for a few days which included my usual pricey trip to the butcher.(best chicken salad I’ve had). 5:30am wake up grab some ice from the Stop n Shop at 6am and off I go. The wind was supposed to be strong from the SW-W so it made sense to head NE to somewhere along the Connecticut coast. I chucked the fenders in the lazarette and secured the two dock lines to the lifelines. Soon I was cruising along wing-on-wing thanks to my sweet new bright blue topping lift proudly holding up Mr. Whisker pole.

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Bright blue topping lift out of the picture to the right.

I’m usually not sure exactly where I’ll put in for the night because of the changes in wind. Towards the end of the day the wind starting blowing hard from the NW so I figured further the better! Was thinking maybe the Thimble islands again but I’ve been there a few times already and it didn’t seem all that exciting though it is a really cool spot and I highly recommend checking it out. There are no free nav apps that have Active Captain for the iPad since Skipper was discontinued (still works for iphone) so I dropped 18$ on Aquamap which has been a favorite of mine anyway. Now I have AC on a colorful palette of waterways. After reading the user reviews of every anchorage on the Conn. coast, I still had no idea.

Approaching the Thimble Islands after 12 hours of sailing I thought what the heck, it’s a nice place, maybe go find a different spot to anchor somewhere in there. I started the motor within a mile or so as I normally do and she started right up. I threw it into gear and it died. Both forward and reverse stalled her immediately. Oh crapballs. No motor. I had some issues with the gear box lately but nothing like this. Soon it seemed obvious something must have wrapped around the prop because everything looked fine from within the boat. There was an anchorage I had read about just past the Thimbles with more room for error. Of course it was blowing 20+kts as it always does when you don’t want it to. I approached Joshua Cove with a sliver of headsail out. The anchorage was protected from the NW but luckily there was still plenty windage to get to a good spot. I found one, furled in the headsail and dropped anchor.

Sitting in the cockpit later that night I noticed the dock line was not attached to its lifeline but was going straight into the water and under extreme tension. I believe it was knocked loose when I dropped the main and reefed in the headsail. Likely, the flapping genoa sheet sneakily untied it and tossed it into the water. At least I knew the problem.

It howled all night with 30+kts of wind and I didn’t sleep all that well. The danforth held strong though and I did sleep in between the big gusts. It was a cool breezy 55° morning so of course I was excited for a dive down to cut the offending dock line out of the prop which I did. A mask and snorkel liveaboard Celeste.

I sailed into the anchorage so it only made sense to sail out which is a little tricky single handed. But the anchor came up after some coaxing and I unfurled the genoa and off we went. The sail back was entirely to windward and the first half of the way was consistently 18kts gusting to 25kts. A massive amounts of racing sailboats passed me heading downwind all flying Spinnakers. The boat seemingly in second nearly broached and her spinnaker was definitely wet. The wind was angled JUST enough to get me all the way home so I kept on going only racing when someone was close to me. Every time the air would lighten or want me to tack it’d sure enough come back strong. It was my first proper night sail with Celeste and it was a great one. The Moon and Manhattan lit up the Sound for an unforgettable sail. We made it all the way to the mouth of Manhasset bay where the wind finally turned in for the night so we motored in.

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Round trip 120.2 NM.

-RB

 

 

 

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