Monday, October 27, 2014

From Newport to Cape May

We just came down from Newport in the last two days. First night we had to sail 45 degrees off our intended coarse because of ill wind. Also in some unpredicted seas we had a very large wave break over the side of the boat and took out our front dodger. It broke through one of the front windows panels and then ripped out all the snaps and fasteners on the bottom of all the front and one side panel. Water was everywhere in the cockpit and downstairs. Helen took the full brunt of the power right in the face. Knocked off her glasses, and lost her hat overboard. She said it is one thing she never hope to experience, being pitch black and not being able to see it coming made it even worse. Trying to keep the subsequent waves out of the cockpit was a loosing battle.  We then had an ok day of hard 25 knot sailing, but it was good. just before dark we heard over the VHF a warning from the coast guard about a huge string of t storms coming our way. Major winds and lightening 40 miles wide and 75 miles long coming our way. We dodged them for about 8 hrs watching as many as 5 bolts making contact simultaneously with a 270 degree view of the storm.  Then we got hammered by the last one. For about 2 hrs we were in the middle of hell. At one point during the highest winds and rain we had two bolts hit within feet if our boat, but didn't take a direct hit. They were so close our autopilot went into reset and power down mode. Thankfuly no other electronics were on. One was about 5 ft in front, we thought it hit our bow roller,and the other about 30 ft behind. Worse lightening scene I have ever witnessed, literally felt like the gates to hell. Made it through with only our nerves hurting and arrived at Cape May in 30 knots of wind with 3 or less hours of sleep in us. Trying to find a place to anchor, we caught a boat's anchor rode in our prop, they had too much scope in 10ft of water.  We were pulled out of the water in order cut off the rode.  That was a very long 48 hours.   Ugh

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9, 2014 Season 8 Begins
Leaving Maine and Heading South
Find pictures posted in the blue box down and to the right of this blog entry.
We have had two great weeks here in Maine.  Our last week has been spent with Rob Anderson at his hide away on Hupper Island off Port Clyde.  We last saw Rob in Mexico, 2008.  What a perfect host.  He took us to three nearby towns, shopping and even let us do wash. We had great dinners, many happy hours, and drop dead gorgeous mornings looking out his windows onto the channel and out to sea from the bedroom windows.  Some days we were glad to be under his roof and not bouncing on the boat as the weather turned lumpy on us.  One day we hiked the island and Rob filled us in on the history and families that have been here for more than 5 generations in some cases.  It is a slice of serenity and even looks great blanketed in snow...we only saw pictures of that.
Tomorrow we drop the mooring ball line and head out to start another season of cruising.  Our calendar start is not pinned to a date but rather to when our migration south to warmth and sunny spots begins.  Our plans are to avoid Atlantic storms and uncomfortable weather. Our heading will be for Bermuda if the weather window is short or head for The U.S. Virgin Islands if all looks safe.
Last weekend we rented a car for 3 days, drove almost 600 miles and saw what Maine is famous for:  beautiful small seaside towns, great food, trees shedding their green coats for colorful Fall colors, a shoreline that reminds one of Washington, the San Juans, Desolation Sound, and Vancouver Island, B.C., and last but not least the friendly people. Keep us in your thoughts and pray for us to have reasonable seas and winds that help us glide and fly (not jet us) southward.