Another windless passage   Leave a comment

Now there’s more to read about our adventures on the blog Foreigner’s Finances. The author interviewed me about my alternative post-graduation lifestyle and some of the practicalities of cruising. Check it out!

Here we are at the top of Delaware bay, near the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It took us all day to get here and there wasn’t a breath of wind! We motored through the hot, glassy calm bay with nothing to look at but the occasional solitary lighthouse sticking out of the water. At least it was hot. This was the first time we’ve stripped down to our bathing suits on the boat. It finally felt like summer.

The rest of our stay at Cape May, NJ was surprisingly pleasant. After a couple of nights at the marina we figured out where to anchor and moved out in front of the Coast Guard station. As soon as we got there about 8 other boats joined us at anchor. A dingy came over to us from the last boat to arrive. The couple inside it were looking for showers and we shared what information we had on the subject. Babette and Jeroen turned out to be sailors from The Netherlands. They came back after their showers and invited us to dinner on their boat.

We had an excellent evening aboard Zilvermeeuw, their 36-foot aluminum “real sailing boat” as J called it. He noted very early on that both our boats were “real sailing boats.” Babette and J improvised a tasty dinner of cruising stores and told us stories about their voyage from Holland, to Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S., and through the intracoastal waterway to our present location. Like Lee and I, they chose to leave their jobs and go sailing while they were still young. They limited their trip to one year and visited the destinations they most wanted to see. New York City is last on their list before they head back across the Atlantic.

The stories and advice J and Babette shared with us that night were encouraging and enticing. Now I want to get to the Caribbean more than ever! Sailing in crazy weather seems like just another experience along the way and all the hurdles we will probably face really don’t sound that bad. It was nice to hear that we’re already doing a lot of things right and that others have made mistakes and survived. Mostly, it was fabulous meeting another couple our age doing what we’re doing. We’re not alone! We’re not crazy! Babette and J seemed to feel the same way.

After a day playing in Cape May (riding bikes, running on the beach, taking outdoor beach showers, grocery shopping) we had our new friends over for a BBQ on Pirat. Another night of stories and conversation ensued. They even brought us an intracoastal waterway guide that they don’t need any more. We all said our goodbyes and began readying our respective boats for morning passages.

Our passage didn’t start out so well, as we had a hard time getting the stern anchor up. Lee finally dove down and wiggled it free of the mud suction. Zeilvermeeuw left shortly before we did and turned North while we turned South.

I think my favorite part of today was finally getting to go swimming off the boat when we dropped anchor this evening. I lowered myself into the slightly murky bay water and discovered that the current was strong enough for me to swim a comfortable breast stroke and stay in one place behind the boat. The water was warm (about 70) and felt great even if it wasn’t blue and tried to wash me away!

Posted May 21, 2010 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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