Moving Down the Sound
12 October 2010 | Westbrook, Connecticut
Sylvia - Fall skies and temps
Because we were only going about 24 nm today we decided to get some things done this morning. I looked at weather and email and did things on line since we had a great connection. Bill meanwhile spent several hours tightening up the tension on the side shrouds that hold the mast up. The mast wasn't in any danger but the rig needed to be tightened. There were 8 turnbuckles that had to be tightened down but you don't turn one as far down as you want it on the first go. You do a round robin tightening each one some in turn and then go back to the beginning and do it again. Of course, they are low on the deck so Bill was doing it on his knees. It did take a couple of hours with several "knee rests" during that time. I had to help him on one because he couldn't get a cotter pin out (that's for the sailors reading this). But we got all but the last one where they needed to be by just before noon when we wanted to leave.
We pumped the head and headed out. We caught the current just right and at times were going over 9 knots course over ground while we were only going 7 knots through the water. Those currents can really give a boost.
The sky started out sunny, got partly cloudy and cool and then sunny and warmer. There was lots of wind on the bow - AGAIN - so we were motoring. We made wonderful time and were in Westbrook by 1530. It would have been nice to have gone further for a couple of more hours but there wasn't anywhere in that time that we could get into that was deep enough to handle our 7'2" draft.
As it was, as we were coming in here they asked us to hang out for 5 more minutes because they were helping someone else dock. We were far enough up the narrow channel that we needed to turn around. It is a dredged channel and is very shallow on either side AND the channel was only about 55 feet wide. Turning around a 52 foot boat in that space - not easy. So we went gently aground for just a split second and with backing and turning and going forward Bill got us turned around and back out in deeper water until they called us. Good thing it was high tide or we would have been well aground.
We are settled in with some very fine sailboats - an Alden, a Swan and a big steel 60 something foot. We felt like such a large sailboat on Lake Superior but as we move down the east coast we aren't as unique as we were. There are a lot of big nice boats out here.
We got settled in and then went for a nice linner or dunch - no lunch during the passage so it was eat a full meal at 1630. It was too late for lunch and to early for dinner. There is a very nice restaurant here, the Boom, and we had a lovely meal all by ourselves. It was private dining with excellent service.
After we got back to the boat Bill tightened up that last turnbuckle and I looked at the weather for John and Joan on Changing Lanes. They had to replace their alternator so the rest of the Canadians went on through NCY today. Changing Lanes is in a harbor on a mooring and can't get internet access to check on the weather. These cell phones certainly help us all out. They will probably get to Atlantic Highlands on Sandy Hook tomorrow but then will probably be stuck there for a couple of days. The next leg is off shore down to Atlantic City and then Cape May. We are just one day behind them but we won't be able to get down there in time to spend the weather lay days with them. Darn.
Tomorrow we are off to Stamford and may be there a few days. There is a system coming north with winds and the resultant big seas forecast for Friday and Saturday. We may get to City Island, NY and wait it out there. That would put us close to the East River for our NYC passage. The weather delay will help out in this case since the high tide at Throgs Neck will be later in the morning and we could easily get there from either City Island or Stamford and have the nice passage through Hell's Gate that we thought wasn't going to happen. Anyway, we will see and I expect to be able to post some pictures in the next few days as we wait out the weather. We met a lovely reproduction of the kind of boat sailed in Christopher Columbus' day. Hopefully the photos came out good; it is hard to tell on the camera.