NY-VA Days 2 & 3: go, no-go

I (James) was sailing at night on a black sea of choppy gremlins sneaking across my bow illuminated by the insane but receding Atlantic City. From the time I popped my rib until it was impossible to stop, from there on out it was about being as relaxed as I possibly could. As awake as I possibly could be. As hands-off as I could be while not fucking up. Cetacea (and Dena’s trim) performed to perfection. The boat sailed a straight line south down a stereotypically sloppy Jersey Shore and it’s almost as if Cetacea just begged me off of trimming any sail and fucking us up all night long. Have I mentioned that I fucking love this boat? I know that I’ve mentioned loving Dena and her trim! The multitudinous stars were alive that night and I can’t remember seeing a single satellite…not a single one. How weird is that, Elon? When I (Dena) went below after my 0300-0600 shift, we were at the decision point. It was the last possible moment for a comfortable and safe ride into Cape May, and James declined. He took his first short watch and I came back up at 0700 in a grey-light world that soon grew a sun. The second go-no-go point was for heading up the Delaware, but James had found a comfortable mix of cat, anti-inflammatory and painkilling pills and he wanted to keep going. He was mildly bewildered by what looked like a bunch of boats rendezvousing right next to the ship channel going up the Delaware, but I took the next watch before they revealed their purpose. In weirdly modern fashion, I watched a group of AIS signatures hover at the edge of the channel, as shown on the chart, until a ship went by. Then I[…]

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NY-VA Day 1: And off we go!

We went to Port Washington on glass water in a thick forbidding fog that engulfed our little world all the way to Manhasset Bay. That’s where the gloom released it’s grip to let us anchor and sleep. It was a terrifying necessitous experience. Only one beautiful moment remains in my (Dena’s) memory. The fog was so thick that visibility at water level was less than a quarter of a mile, but it thinned overhead enough for a beam of sunlight to penetrate and gleam on the water. The softly waving water surface became riddled with catspaws for a moment and I saw silvery lace curtains, blown in a gentle breeze. Port Washington is familiar to us. Groceries, laundromat, and good eats within an easy walk of the town dinghy dock, it’s been kind of a favorite for the past few years. But the town’s harbor plan has been hijacked by the corporate non-entity marina machine, and that has had a rather dramatic effect on the overall feel of the place. They (the town of Port Washington) used to have a bunch of moorings sponsored entirely by the city, free for 72 hours. As a cruising sailor, you could roll up on one of those moorings on a Friday and live the good life for an entire long weekend for free! Now I (James) don’t really know if it was a direct cause and effect relationship, but shortly after the nightmare-multinational-marina-conglomerate takes over two of the local marinas…all the sudden the town doesn’t think they should be leaving that good rich-boater money on the table anymore. This year they started charging after the first “solar” day. Well, fuck a bunch of that – we anchor our boat. Of course, that means that when we decided to take the late-night fair current[…]

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