Dagny's Winter Cruise

18 September 2023
14 September 2023
09 September 2023
09 September 2023
06 September 2023
06 September 2023
02 September 2023
29 August 2023
29 August 2023
23 August 2023
11 August 2023
05 August 2023
31 July 2023
28 July 2023
22 July 2023
20 July 2023

Sandyhook to New Bedford

13 July 2023
Allan Gray
i had planned on updating our blog on Monday, however with our advanced departure time for Nova Scotia we just didn't have time. So today I'll take you back in time for the 175 mile leg to New Bedford.

Once again our departure time was based on our planned arrival time for Cuttyhunk. So with all the calculations done, the alarm was set for 4:00 a.m. which would get us underway just before dawn. As has been the norm so far this trip we started off in flat calm conditions anticipating a nice 10-12 knot southerly breeze to fill in mid morning. We looked forward to cruising along the south coast of Long Island past famous landmarks like Coney Island (no time to stop for hotdog) and the Hamptons. The weather was beautiful sunny and hot but you guessed it, no wind. As the day wore on bright sunshine turned to haze which eventually turned to fog reducing the visibility to a couple of miles. One of the upgrades we made to Dagny was the addition of a radar system which fortunately I had practiced with in clear conditions.

As darkness fell we passed Montauk Point at the eastern end of Long Island and set a waypoint to keep us clear of a wind farm on Block Island's south coast. As the night wore on the visibility continued decreasing until eventually we found ourselves in peasoup conditions with zero visibility. We had made better time than expected and our ETA showed us arriving in the dark, in a strange anchorage with zero vis. After discussing options we elected to head a little farther to New Bedford where a wide well marked channel would be easier to navigate. As the night wore on we gained more confidence in the radar as we picked our through the various channel marks, frequently passing within 100 yards of them with no eye contact. Besides channel marks, fishing boats are always a concern, especially those who turn off their AIS to hide from the competition, just ask Boris Hermann about that. Anyways, as Bev was preparing to give me a break I was briefing her on the situation when all of a sudden a target popped up 1/4 mile ahead of us crossing our track. I cranked the wheel over and quickly reduced speed with plans of taking his stern, all the while trying to raise him on the radio. We could only see a glow of his deck lights as we paralleled his course, when he finally responded, he was very vague as to what his intentions were. And go figure, within a few minutes of clearing him his target disappeared again.

Of course we were both wide awake by now and we motored along gradually watching the sky brighten and the fog finally lifted as we approached New Bedford. We elected to anchor outside for a couple of hours of sleep before moving into the mooring field of this very busy harbour. The harbour is home to 329 fishing trawlers that take in 122 million pounds of product annually plus it is the work base for a huge wind farm being built of the coast. With Bev still on the mend we didn't get much of a chance to explore the historic whaling museum but look forward to stopping in next year.

Today's picture is of a plaque commemorating Joshua Slocum's voyage around the world. For the uninitiated he was the first guy to sail around the world alone, departing from New Bedford in 1895; the trip took him 3 years.

Vessel Name: Dagny
Vessel Make/Model: Sabre 402
Hailing Port: South Lancaster On
Crew: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
About: Allan is a retired Montreal Air Traffic Controller and Bev is a retired Elementary School Principal.
Extra: After many years of local cruising and Etchells racing we are living our dream of sailing to the Bahamas. Allan enjoys golfing, cycling and skiing. Bev is an active cyclist, runner, aerobics participant and cross country skier.

Who: Allan Gray and Bev Bethune
Port: South Lancaster On