Comedy or Trajedy? You decide!

Update: 11:50 AM.
We had trouble this morning changing our headsail, and we’ve been delayed. So, we are not taking off today. Of well.

The headsail, our nice big Genoa/Jenny, wouldn’t come down so I had to go up the mast in the bosun chair to check it out. While about 3/4 of the way up the mast, my line got stuck, and I couldn’t go further up nor come back down. *ugh* It was wrapped around the winch and bound up on itself and Lala, who was working the winch on deck, couldn’t get it unstuck.

I debated trying to climb up the rest of the way by myself, without the aid of the chair and security line, but that was just a moment of pure insanity. We still had the main halyard available, so Lala sent it up to me on the flag runner, and I clipped into that instead. Then I was able to make it the last ten feet up to the mast head successfully. I cleared the blockage on the jib furler and headed back down to the deck, exhausted and sore. Going up the mast is like doing 100 leg lifts and ab crunches, along with a dozen pull ups for dessert.

Nothing like a little headsail-change-and-climb-up-the-mast drill at 6:00 in the morning to wake you up! And all this before breakfast! Then we lowered the Jenny and raised the working (smaller) jib without any problems. It was a reasonably fast headsail change, as far as we are concerned. Fast for us is under 15 minutes…enough to make a racer have a heart attack for sure.

Finally all ready “to go” then we raised both of our anchors to find them covered with the foulest stickiest oiliest black tar mud you’ve ever seen. This stuff is seriously vile. It’s like a cross between crude oil, permanent ink and velcro. It laughs at water and soap. Even WD-40 and bleach leave leave it unscarred. The only way to get it off is water pressure. You know, take a fire hose and blast the crap off.

So we headed out of the anchorage to cross the inlet and go to the marina on the other side, where there is fresh water available in a hose with a pressure nozzle. Our water tanks were empty anyway, and we needed to fill them before taking off.

Now, we’ve come into this anchorage twice now *in the dark* with strong currents and cross winds while exhausted, so we figured it would be nothing to head out in daylight with light winds on a rising tide. I’d checked google satellite images to see what it looks like recently from above, and it seems that we should head almost all the way out and then turn south near the tip of the north grass edge.

Well apparently I turned just a little too soon because *BAM* the bow dipped and the stern rose and everything lurched forward.  We hit ground.  At least I was going slowly!  Full throttle in reverse, and we pulled off.  I turned a bit more to the west and shifted into forward again and *BAM* free instant replay.  Heart beat pounding in my throat, blood pressure through the roof, I aimed back to the northwest and poked my way slowly right to within five feet of the grassy edge. Then I turned south and found the deep water.  Thank God!

So we made it to the marina, cleaned off all the black glue goo that was all over both anchors and the bow and deck, and filled our water storage tanks to the brim.  By the time we were done and cast off the dock lines, it was nearly 11:00am–much too late to start a run to Cape May and expect to get there in daylight.  Rather than head back into the lagoon anchorage, we decided to park it on the west side of the river, near to Atlantic City and the marinas.  Besides, a friend is coming to visit us and stay tonight on the boat! It’s Kurt from Drifter, who we got to know and make music and perform firedancing with in Marathon Florida last winter. He’s heading down to Drifter in his new car, and he’s stopping by to see us on his way.  So, it’ll be easier to pick him up at on of the marinas if we just anchor here:

Hopefully our weather window will continue into tomorrow, and we can make it to Cape May by dusk tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “Comedy or Trajedy? You decide!

  1. Pam

    WOW! You two have been in the thick of it. I have two sayings for you:
    1. Some times your the pigeon and sometimes your the statue!
    2. There could be no mountain top moments without the valleys.

    Stay close and don’t let the bad things ruin what you have. Your doing the right thing laughing.

    For a moment I thought your two cats took off without you!

    You could also write a book from the two cats point of view for children.

    Get writing you two!

  2. bud

    No matter how well you describe the turmoil that comes from cruising on a sailboat, only a fellow cruiser can truly understand it!

    Love your blog, and support your choice to go while you are young. I decided early in my life to do so because I wasn’t sure of two things: living long enough to do those things later in life, and would I be healthy enough to do them when I got older; so I went, and after nearly 45 years of doing so I have no regrets!


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