Day 1 of our adventure north and it has been
filled with highs and lows.
First Low…..We left the dock under power and something seemed a bit off with the
position of our wheel when we were maintaining a straight course – we were a
couple of spokes further over than we normally are.Jason dove on Tango about a month ago to liberate
the running gear of a fine batch of barnacles and to replace hull and prop zincs,
so it hadn’t been long since any growth had been removed.While this was odd, it didn’t alarm us -
there was no shimmy in the wheel, engine temp seemed fine and we had full
steerage; she just didn’t sit where she normally does.However, once we put up sails it seemed to be
a bit better so again, we weren’t overly worried but it was something we
definitely planned to check out once we got to Norfolk. On a positive note,
this resolved after a couple hours of upwind sailing, which leads me to… First High…The morning started off lovely! We had a beautiful sunrise to see us
out of the Potomac River and into the Chesapeake Bay with apparent winds of
10-15kts. For the first half of the day we were sailing along, beam
reaching and close reaching, and making between 5.5kts and 7.3kts SOG - it was
wonderful! We got ASSWOP set up and proceeded to take turns between
watching for tankers and monitoring the helm, relaxing, and taking naps while
ASSWOP did all the work :)
Second (small) Low…The wind gradually
decreased until we found ourselves in 1.9kts of wind making 1.0kts over ground
at which time we decide to fire up the iron genoa. Because of the
sweltering heat (had I mentioned it was the hottest day we’ve had yet this spring
at 95F) and lack of wind, we decided that instead of motoring all the way to Norfolk,
and arriving sometime after 2200, we'd divert and spend the night in Fishing
Bay, which is off the Piankatank River in Deltaville, VA. This would
allow us to top off our fuel, get out of the heat (read crank the air
conditioner), and finish up a few small projects.
Second High… While entering the Piankatank
River we saw a spectacular pod of dolphins.Sean spotted a couple of fins in the distance and maybe 30 seconds later
you could see them popping up all over the place!This pod had to have at least 75 dolphins in
it – it was amazing!A few of them
decided they would show off - rocketing out of the water and entertaining us
with repeated tail splashes.I managed
to snap a couple of photos but, unfortunately, I never use the video feature on
my Canon, so when I thought I was recording, I actually wasn’t (oops). I did
manage to get a bit of video, but by the time I figured out that I wasn’t
recording, they were a good ways off our stern, so not sure how good they came
out.I’ll share some of those pictures
once we make it to LI as I still have to download them from my camera. Third Low…We pulled into one of the marinas to fill up our fuel tanks.We’ve been having some issues with a small
fuel leak in our starboard fuel tank at the low point drain for a while now,
but we thought our recent repair did the trick.Not so much…We put in about 5
gallons so we could see if the repair held, then filled the port tank.Upon inspecting, we didn’t see any diesel leaking
out, so we thought the repair was good. We put in an additional 35 gallons or
so, paid up and then gave it one more look…Sure enough, leaking like a sieve….Grrrr!We went through a few
options, but none of them worked.We
were able to slow down the leak slightly so we lined the locker with trash bags
and fuel diapers and planned to get up to the boat yard office first thing in the
morning to see if they could help us out. Thankfully the yard was available and they
came down yesterday morning to take a look.No problem and he sounded pretty confident about fixing it for us.The downside is that he couldn’t get to us
until yesterday afternoon.So J spent
the AM doing schoolwork, I did work-work, and Sean did some writing. We attempted to get our fuel polished before
we left our marina but the pump wasn’t working properly so we took this
opportunity to get our fuel polished as well.Yesterday afternoon two guys from the boat yard came back with the fuel
pump, polisher, and tools and we got to work.We were able to drain our starboard tank into a clean 55gallon drum,
remove the plug, and inspect the damage. Sure enough, the threads were damaged
which was allowing fuel to seep out.One
of the guys went to go see about getting a new plug while we got to work
polishing the fuel in the port tank.45 minutes
later, as a crazy storm rolled through, our fuel in the port tank was polished
and done! Side note on the crazy storm, lightning struck the Oyster 66 next to
us – talk about scary!All you saw was
this bright light, heard this horrendous crack, then saw smoke coming off the
top of his mast…No Bueno!
Starboard Fuel Tank - the leaking tank.
Port Fuel Tank - Located under aft berth.
Anyway, back to the fuel saga….No joy on the
plug, which means we couldn’t leave this morning. The good news is that they had
the plug on hand at 0730, when one of the guys from the yard knocked on the
They were able to clean the
threads on the tank with a tap and reinstall the plug that had been slathered
in pipe dope.They waited until this
afternoon for the dope to set up, then waited, holding our breath, as they
pumped the diesel back into the tank…NO LEAKING!This means we will be casting off tomorrow
morning (in showers and thunderstorms, of course) with a destination of Long
Island - YAY!
This stop means we won’t get to stop over in
Norfolk which is a total bummer as that would have allowed us to see our
wonderful sailing friends Jeff and Shelley.We met them last year on our Memorial Day cruise, right before we headed
out on our honeymoon. They, too, were newlyweds having been married just a few
weeks before us.We immediately hit it
off – it was like we had known each other for years. Even though we’ve only
seen them once since then, while they were passing through Solomons on their
new-to-them Catamaran, they are one of our closest friends - unfortunately
living a state away :) We’ll be coming back through Norfolk on our way south in
the fall, and definitely plan to catch up with them then, but still very
disappointed we won’t be seeing them this time around. Third (small) High…We feel like all this has been a blessing in
disguise.It allowed us an opportunity
to get the fuel leak fixed properly and get the fuel polished.It also gave J some additional time to
complete his schoolwork for the week, allowed us to further troubleshoot the
prop situation (read as Jason dove and scraped barnacles off the prop, rudder, bottom,
and speed log), run our new stays’l halyard, treat the leather and zippers on
our full enclosure, do some food prep for the passage and gave the weather some
time to cool down.We were looking at
high temps and no wind in the Atlantic and now, after giving it a couple of
days, the conditions seem to be changing in our favor, predicting 10-15 knot
winds most of the trip and relatively calm seas.Only down side is we’ll get a bit wet leaving
tomorrow, but that’s a small price to pay for 3-4 days of smooth sailing.Next entry will be from Long Island!!!
Meet Sean…. We call him "Mongo"........... Just Kidding ;)
Sean is making the trip north with us and we are thrilled to
have him as crew!Complete disclosure:this will be the longest offshore passage J
and I have made. On our honeymoon we did just over 30hrs offshore and went out
maybe 15 miles.This time we anticipate
anywhere from 3-5 days offshore and we’ll be out approx. 100 miles. So, while
we are capable of doing it ourselves, it will be very nice to have a third set
of hands aboard (read 6hr blocks of sleep as opposed to three – sweet!)
We’ve known Sean now for almost 5yrs, he is a fellow sailor,
was the best man in our wedding and he and J are tied at the hip and he is a
teacher so he’s off for the summer.For
these reasons, it only made sense for him to tag along.
He’ll be with us as we make our way north and
then stick around for a while sailing in and around Maine and up into Canada.Hopefully on the weekends I’ll get to go out
and join them as well - someone has to work!
Well, it's been fun Southern Md.... 0525 this AM we left where we've (more so I've) called home for a long time.
We had a beautiful sunrise to send us off....
1st stop, TBD. Right now we're getting a few more knots of wind than predicted, and we're making 6.7kts over ground. We may be able to make Norfolk today if these conditions remain, we'll see... It is the Chesapeake Bay so you never know ;)
So… We really need to be better about keeping this updated and we plan to in the coming weeks.
Things have been very busy here so just a quick update. Since the beginning of the year our lives have been CRAY-ZEE! We went from looking to buy a house in Maine (yes, shocking and you’re probably wondering where the heck that came from – long story…), to placing offers on three different houses (all of which did not pan out – sign perhaps? We think so…), then ultimately deciding to move to Pensacola, Fl. J resigned from his job, has been back in school full time finishing his undergrad, my job has been super busy and lately has been in a state of transition and on top of all that we are planning to cast off our lines on MONDAY!!! Yes, you read that correctly – Monday, as in three days from now! So, our plans as of now (cliff notes version) are as follows:
Depart the Chesapeake Bay next week and head to Norfolk. From Norfolk we’ll jump offshore and make our way North to Long Island where we’ll stay for about a week or so visiting family and some fellow Mason owners. From there we’ll hop along the coast and make our way to Belfast, Maine where we’ll stay for the summer. Lots of fun stuff planned for this summer!
Come fall, approx 1 October, we’ll start making our way back south. Route is still TBD but we’re thinking the ICW for portions of the trip, making stops in New Bern, NC and Charleston, SC to see some family and friends. From there we’ll jump offshore here and there as we make our way to Key West. We’ll definitely stop there :) From there, the final leg will be to Pensacola, FL where we plan to stay for the next 3-5 years. J is going back to Grad school full time and I’ll be working from home. We own a house in Pensacola so we’ll be living in the house while we are there but Tango will be at a nearby marina and we plan to spend as much time on her as possible. While the house is super cute and small (well, small for houses but palatial compared to our current living conditions) part of me is going to have a really hard time not living aboard so I think we’ll find ourselves back on Tango quite often.
So, just a quick update on where we are and what’s going on. I will try to make another post to share what projects we’ve been working on and accomplishing prior to our departure but seeing as time is getting very short, not sure if that will happen before we shove off.
We have SO much left to do before we head out (isn’t that always the case?) but we are very excited for this next chapter and plan to be better about sharing our adventures with all of you (well, all 5 of our followers, hah!).