Plan? What Plan!

Today was a disaster. (but we are alive and well to write to y’all about it, so I guess it wasn’t that bad)
It started out first thing in the morning with both of us having near heart-attacks when I almost crashed our boat into another boat in the mooring field while exiting Cuttyhunk harbor. It was a terrifyingly close call, and an epically stupid move on my part due to losing control of the steering because I thought the engine was in gear and it was actually in neutral. Some angels must have been helping us out on that one, I still am somewhat in shock over how close we came to hitting that boat.

Then we proceeded to leave the harbor and face 20 knot winds on the nose with turbulent waves coming across Buzzards Bay. We had to head straight into the wind for aways to get out of the harbor, and we bucked like a bronco making very slow headway. It was a wild, rough ride. Some people find sailing like that pure bliss and fun, but I found it pretty stressful. We were motor sailing into the wind until we reached open enough waters to alter our course for better sailing. And then our engine died. Just like that, the engine suddenly died. We had no idea why. It happened so suddenly and without warning….

Ok… problem….we’ll sail. There’s definitely enough wind for it! So we sailed across Buzzards Bay until we reached the mouth of the New Bedford harbor. We contemplated continuing on our planned route in the direction of Block Island/Long Island and figuring out the problem down there, but it seemed more prudent to find out what the problem was sooner rather than later. We couldn’t go all the way into the harbor under sail alone because it was straight into the wind and the entrance is very narrow. So we thanked God that we have a membership to TowBoat U.S. and called them for a tow.

That was a new experience, getting towed in a sailboat by a tiny little tow boat! The guy who helped us was wonderful. He towed us right into a narrow slip (that was impressive) in a marina that was right across the street from a West Marine and several other boat supply stores. Cap’t K. tried trouble shooting the problem and could only determine that it was a fuel supply problem. Luckily within a few hours we had a diesel mechanic on board who knew way more than us. We almost had another heart attack when he suggested that it looked like a problem with the fuel injector pump (the main reason we are so stressed out about money is because we just spent $2,000 on a fuel injector pump for Cap’t K’s car)
But on further investigation, he discovered that it was a clogged fuel pump. Apparently the wild ride we were on bucking the giant waves stirred up a bunch of sludge that had been resting at the bottom of our 40 year old fuel tank, and to make things even worse, some water seeped into the fuel tank somehow. Those two things combined clogged our filter in jiffy! With a new $30 fuel filter, he got it running again, and gave us a bunch of helpful tips on the care and feeding of our engine. Brian was another wonderful angel!We still have some trouble shooting to do on our water in the fuel tank problem, but that is another story. For now we are back in business.
So, here we are tucked into a marina slip, enjoying hot water and full electric hookup, feeling both grateful that things weren’t as bad as they could have been, and also feeling major regret for having missed the wind window we had been counting on to get us west. Tomorrow the wind is going to turn west AND die down to light and variable. So we will be waiting for better wind to make it to New Jersey.
Our plan right now is to try to make it to Block Island tomorrow, and enjoy ourselves there until Monday, when the wind is forecasted to be in our favor once more.
But who knows what will happen!!! Planning is starting to feel pointless….

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