July 2008 Archives

Our plan this year was to enter some long distance races, that had a double-handed division. There are several of these within striking distance of our Boston slip. The Beringer Bowl, an overnight race from Marblehead to Provincetown, about 50 miles, seemed like a fun event.

We left Boston on the morning of Friday, July 18th, to a day with no wind. Norm's picture of the buoy shows a glassy sea state and no current. We got to Marblehead around 1pm, and got a mooring assignment, after touring the harbor to marvel at all the boats. A party was hosted by Boston Yacht Club, consisting of a BBQ and refreshments. We were the first ones ashore, it seemed, so we took a walk through the streets of Marblehead, my first visit to this picturesque town. When we got back to the club, we found out, much to our disappointment, that the only other double-handed entry, Lumen Solare, an Alerion 28, had switched to the OCS division, which had their start at noon. We thought we had seen them, since we watched the start of the OCS Division as we sailed toward Marblehead. Due to a last-minute crew change, they made the change to the earlier start.

Some boats at the start of the OCS division -
Southerly, a Sabre 34
Dragonfly, a Bristol 35
Another racer

We saw some friends among the entrants and crew, and enjoyed the afternoon party at BYC. Three J-105s were racing, one of whom we had seen last year at the Smuttynose Regatta, when we did race committee with friend Tom, Shooting Star.

Since we had no other competitors in the double-handed division, by the racing rules, there was no DH classification for this year's race. We were very disappointed. DH racers still race in their class, against fully-crewed boats, but the main reason we were there was to hone our short-handed crew skills and use the competition to measure ourselves. Racing against fully-crewed boats, we managed to come in fifth. We could have done much better, I think. Our navigation left something to be desired, when we ended up in the early morning outside Race Point. Our intention was to arrive within the curved wrist of P'town, and avoid the adverse current outside of Race Point. So we blew that plan. With no wind, and the current against us, we struggled for over 2 hrs to make the Green Fl 4sec #1 buoy off of Wood end Light. A short kite ride later, we had crossed the finish line.

We had made reservations for a mooring for 2 nights at Provincetown Marina. This really meant one night since we didn't arrive in P'town until after 7am. We picked up a mooring and after naps and a shower, felt like hitting the town. It certainly was odd to visit this town that I know so well, from living on the Cape for 15 years (and visiting for the 15 years prior), by arriving by sea. Everything took on a different look, I guess seen from a new perspective. I had never really noticed the boats in the harbor, aside from those hawking day trips and whale watches on the piers. Now I was on one of those boats, and our trips from our "home" to town were by a new route, the launch and the ramp up to Cabral Pier, locally knows as Fisherman's Wharf.

There is a wonderful art installation called They Also Faced the Sea, which is located on the old fish-packing plant at the end of the pier. Here we see a Beringer Bowl entrant, Ruffian, a J-30, who finished 2nd in Class D, motoring by one of the photographs of the Portuguese-American women, Almeda Segura. This one image can only be seen from the sea.

Here is a pic of Atlantea, a Sabre 38, that finished first in our class, Class C. This is taken on Sunday, as the racers began to disperse to head to their home ports.

Averisera looks perfectly content hanging on her mooring, with the P'town jetty in the background. We stayed over to Sunday, since we were beginning our cruise to the south of the canal, making our way slowly toward Newport, to be ready for the NE Solo/Twin, held on July 25-26th.

Here I am sitting on the bow pulpit, keeping an eye out as we leave P'town, to head south-west to the Cape Cod Canal entrance.

We sailed Mass Bay, in moderate wind, but the wind kept clocking around, so we were headed. We started the motor and motor-sailed a while, but then the wind came in stronger. As we got closer to the canal, about an hour away, we started seeing the familiar big black clouds that foretell a squall. They were forming over Cape Cod Bay, and moving north-west, toward the canal entrance. I went forward to reef the main, and it was just in the nick of time. We had just donned our foul-weather gear. I got the main lowered and Norm reefed it just as the wind and rain started.

We made our way into the Harbor of Refuge (what a nice name for a harbor!), and settled into a slip, then headed up to the Aqua Grille for a light supper at the bar.

New Dodger

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Since early spring, I've been slaving away on a new dodger. Nothing creative, just trying to duplicate the existing one. It is looking shabby, the "glass" is hard to see through, and it doesn't match the new mainsail cover, or the winch covers, or the tiller covers. So basically, a fashion statement, no added functionality.

My effort came pretty close to the original. It still needs some work, I didn't quite get the front end down far enough, although our later experiences indicate that it works quite well. It also collects water in the roof (as did the original) in serious downpours, of which we have had MANY!! So next year's project will include some improvements. Meanwhile, I now have a better idea of what it takes to produce custom canvaswork for our boat.

The new dodger. The purpose is to give us some headroom in the galley area below. We don't have standing headroom on Averisera.
A closeup, matching the sail cover, in Sunbrella, cadet gray

July 6th, 2008

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Many thanks to Mark McGann from Boston Sailing Center for taking... and then sharing... this photo of Averisera.
Our last exercises for the day were shallow harbor navigation and anchoring. We sailed into Red Brook Harbor, a wonderful little refuge at the west entrance to the Canal. We arrived around 3pm. Eric and Christina worked out the navigation to get us behind the little island, and we found a spot to practice anchoring. Once the anchor was set, we took some time to relax and play. Eric took the dinghy to the beach to explore and Christina and I put on bathing suits and went for a swim. The water was just fine!

Christina and I got a scrub brush and cleaned the water line. It wasn't too effective, since we had no leverage, but it was nice to get some of the NYC grime off.
Then Christina tried to overturn the Portland Pudgy with Eric in it. This was unsuccesful, but Christina got a ride for her trouble.

We fooled around a while more, but had the current in the Canal to consider. So we weighed anchor around 5:15, and headed for the Canal entrance. Eric again did the navigating and Christina drove.
After we entered the Canal, Eric took some time to enjoy the view from the deck.
Christina enjoying her new role thoroughly

We tied up at Sandwich Marina in the Harbor of Refuge, and of course, went to the Aqua Grille for dinner, one of our all-time favorite places to stop whenever we go through the Canal.
Next morning, after some docking practice, Norman and I took the bus back to Boston, and left Christina and Eric to continue their cruise on their own. We've had some happy emails from Provincetown, Scituate and Winthrop.
We set out from Davenport Neck in no wind and a hazy sky. New York City behind us looked shimmery and hot. We watched the sky, as it darkened in the south-west, and kept in front of any thunderstorms or squalls that were brewing. In no wind, we motorsailed. By late afternoon we were sailing, with the engine off. The sea state was lumpy, and "Maryooch" had an interesting motion. I had not thought to use any seasickness preventives, since I don't get seasick, but I would regret that non-decision later. Neither Christina nor Norman had any problem, and Eric had taken measures previously. We had planned to sail through the night, so at 6-ish Norman announced he was going to sleep for several hours. Christina and I took the watch, after some catch-up navigation, and Eric went below for some rest.

The wind picked up, with wind squalls, that provided us with some practice in using the roller furling to adjust the jib. We were moving at a pretty good clip. I think we averaged about 6 knots over the first 120 miles. We took no pictures, well since it was night, and also because we were pretty busy, just sailing the boat. Eric had trouble resting, so he was invaluable in helping with the navigation. We had been sailing in the widest part of Long Island Sound and as it narrowed we had to keep a watch out for things like Long Sand Shoal. At around 10pm, Norm and Eric relieved us. I went below to become miserable, while Christina was able to get some real rest. The two men took us on a wild ride through the Race, which reminded me from below of our trip to the Caribbean and crossing the Gulf Stream. It's amazing how a boat can seem like a bumper car, with crashing and banging, odd turns and bumps; that water can be so forceful as to feel like you have hit a wall or a tree.

Once beyond the Race, we sailed on for Newport, which would be our first stop. We arrived in the East Passage with the thunderstorms finally upon us. This was familiar territory to Norm, and me from last year's trip to the NE Solo/Twin. Coming in in fog and rain, with lightning flashing, made for a dramatic arrival. We pulled into the fuel dock at Goat Island, and called for a slip at Newport Yacht Club. Once settled into our slip there, we were able to get some rest, and do some housekeeping. Eric made a run to West Marine for parts, and he also bought the ingredients for a great barbecue on the back of the boat. We dined on tuna kabobs, squash, peppers, tomatoes. Yumm! After all, a trial run should test all the equipment, don't you think? It was a nice reward for cleaning under the holding tank, tracking down leaks into the bilge and doing multiple loads of laundry.

The next morning, we were ready for another leg. Tuesday arrived bringing heavy fog.

Maryooch hidden in fog.
Norman with his cozy boots on.
Inside the boat is ship-shape.
Christina doing some last minute dodger-shopping. One of the advantages of hanging about a yacht club is looking at how other cruisers do their thing.

So the first lesson of the day was navigating in fog. Eric is very adept at navigating, so he and Christina quickly had a rhythm and a patter down. We took turns watching and listening, identifying the marks on the way out of East Passage and then up towards Buzzards Bay. Just as we were off the harbor entrance buoys for New Bedford the fog began to lift.

Eric decided to get out the fishing rod, and try some of the new lures he had bought just for this purpose. We all agreed that this would be entertaining whether he was successful or not. I don't think any of us thought Eric would catch anything. We all read about the elusive stripers, and the bluefish that fight back.
So were we surprised when moments after the lure was tossed, Eric cried out I think I need some help.
That is a fish, not seaweed!
Well then... Since we didn't know what Eric had caught we tossed it back. And within minutes, there was another fish on the line. Crazy stuff this fishing. I thought it was a lot more work.

Where is our field guide when we need it??? It turns out that they were both bluefish, and we could have kept them for a wonderful repeat barbecue at our next stop. Alas, we did not know. It certainly was entertaining, and I think Eric will be enjoying his new tackle.
So what have we been up to? A racing member of Boston Sailing Center has purchased a new-to-her cruising boat, a Pearson 28, which was located in City Island, NY. Christina and Eric wanted some help bringing the boat to Salem, MA, where they had made arrangements to have her moored for the summer. Christina and Eric were just starting to experiment with the cruising side of sailing, and Christina had taken a Coastal Cruising class with J-World in Newport last summer. They had then shopped for the perfect cruising boat for them, and "Maryooch" was now their new toy.

Norman and I agreed to help them deliver the boat the 200-plus miles, and help them learn a thing or two about cruising along the way. We took Amtrak down on Saturday, with a mind to leaving Saturday night. We arrived at the New Rochelle train station, where we were picked up by Eric, and after some incidental purchases found ourselves at Consolidated Yachts, where Christina was slaving away cleaning every inch of the boat.

A Pearson 28 is a nice-size cruising boat for two, or with an occasional friend or dog.

She has a nice cozy salon and a forward v-berth
a nav station/reefer forward of the head,
and a pretty well-laid out galley, with a quarterberth behind.
The head is aft, which is one of the features we like.

First order of business was a complete review of the running and standing rigging, the sails, the equipment, and then the boat systems. Norman and Christina did most of the heavy lifting, while Eric and I went food shopping.

Christina can now explain how to assemble an anchor and the hundreds of yards of chain and rode to create a safe cruising anchor.

As the day wore on, and the chores kept coming, Christina decided that it might be prudent to pay for another night at the slip. That gave us time for a wonderful dinner at Rick's on the tip of City Island (think oysters, fried shrimp, coleslaw, corn, beer), and a tour of the yard.
Norm of course found an old friend, "Necesse", which I'm sure he'll write more about in an upcoming entry.

The next morning dawned hot and hazy. We were unable to get potable water or pumpout at Consolidated Yachts. So one of our to-dos was to find a nearby marina for that purpose. Wright Island Marina in Davenport Neck seemed to offer the services we required, so we headed into New Rochelle. I guess it was a bit too early for New Yorkers though, since no one was about. Christina called the number posted on the shed at the fuel dock, and got Chris, who said he would come by in 20 minutes, about 40 mintues before they officially opened at 8am. He arrived, and we fueled up, but found that pumpout was not working. Oh well. We were able to fill up with fresh water, and we set off for New England.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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