25 June 2023
Over the last year or two, somehow, our cruising modus operandi seems to have gone from one extreme to the other. From, "must press on", passing through anchorages, towns, cities, museums and indeed countries in the blink of an eye to languishing on the hook, or in recent weeks, at a dock quietly whiling away the days.
Or perhaps, on reflection, we're actually mixing the two. After all, we dashed through the Bahamas, again, in so many hours. Dashing to meet our son who was trying to get out to meet us. But couldn't.
Same son, different dash, this time to Boston. Having sat around for weeks enjoying Norfolk, we were there so long Anne even joined the YMCA, we've one weather window to get up to and around New York before presenting ourselves at the Arrivals gate at Logan airport on the 2nd to welcome the elder Letton family to their new life in New England.
To meet all these dates, yesterday we said our thanks and goodbyes and cast off our lines from the Pilot House and headed off for the 250 miles to New York. Less than two miles later it was all a bit inclement so we scratched that plan and tucked in out the unseasonably wild weather and spent a night under the moon and the loom of the lights at the new bridge works, serenaded by the sound of novice helicopter pilots doing touch and go's ALL night. Round and round and round....
And of course, no sooner had we got the hook down and settled in than the rain cleared and the wind swung to where it should have been. Next morning, at first light we headed out the river. The York River is bisected by the twelve mile long Chesapeake Bay bridge long bridge / tunnel. The bridge element has an air draft of about twenty feet and as the US navy is upstream of the bridge, rather than build tiny warships that could get under the bridge, the tunnel dives underground for half a mile half way across.
Just as we were approaching that gap from up stream, a large barge was approaching from the east and we were destined to pass at the narrowest point. To add to the challenge, a blinding rainstorm with thirty knots descended on us at exactly the wrong time. What fun we had with full sail up and zero visibility, with a few thousand tons of steel approaching. Just as well Anne had been working out over the previous weeks.
A few hours later.... KA-BOOM and a lightning bolt struck the water just behind us. How it missed the mast I can only put down to poor marksmanship. It was however close enough to blow up the self steering.
Brilliant. Just as well we have an independent back up ... and spare few quid to replace the fried one.
And so, the weird weather has continued. Grey all day then damp and thick fog earlier this evening.
When Craig and his family show up in Boston, if this weather doesn't clear, his wee kids are going to going to be saying, "Dad, are we back in Scotland?"