Two days that felt like 3   Leave a comment


We made it to Newport! It really does feel fantastic to be here and know how hard we worked to get here (even if it isn’t that far compared to where we’re eventually going!). The passage was windy, wet, rough, cold, and long. It wasn’t any longer than we thought it would be but it felt more like 3 days than 2. Sunday night totally counted as a day.
Lee, his dad, and I left Bremen around 9:30 on Sunday morning in a brisk wind and sunny skies. We went straight to the solent a a single reefed main, since we knew the wind would only increase. I’m so, so glad we started with the solent. It served us well for the rest of the trip.


The wind was a bit finicky all day on Sunday. It died before a brief band of rain and clouds. It wasn’t coming from the forecast direction so we were on a higher point of sail than we’d anticipated. The waves were there but they weren’t huge. It sure was cold though. I was dressed like I was going skiing.
By sunset the wind was up around 20-22 knots and we were close/beam reaching along with the solent and a double reefed main. Pirat was making about 7-8 knots with waves rolling under the windward side. It was a wet, rough ride. We all wore our harnesses/lifejackets and clipped in whenever we were on deck. It was too rough to heat the stew Lee’s mom made for us to take so I threw some cold hot dogs (and soy dogs!) on buns. Yum!


I took the first shift. I was pretty nervous going into it. Something about sailing in the dark freaks me out for a little while but I get used to it eventually. You can’t see the waves. The ocean’s texture is all weird and everything just feels more extreme. Lee’s dad stayed with me for a few minutes in the beginning of my shift, which was very comforting. Once I was on my own I actually felt really relaxed. I kept moving to stay warm. Sitting in one place made my butt cold! The moon was bright. The stars were out. The boat was sailing super fast. Then the wind started picked up. I crouched on the cockpit floor and watched the knot meter creep up towards 25 in the gusts. Pirat was rolling quite a bit with every gust and wave. The auto pilot was doing a good job but definitely working hard. Reluctantly, I called Lee and curt up to put a third reef in the main. We had to thread the third reefing line through the reef clew, since we don’t use it much and therefore left it out. It wasn’t too difficult of a procedure, even in the dark. I’m glad we did it. The boat felt much more under control. The wind did die down a bit after that but we were still going plenty fast.
The rest of the night continued about the same way. Lee shook out the third reef on his own, then we all got up and put it back in before his dad’s shift (the last one). That was when things were at their roughest. It was my turn to stay on deck with Lee’s dad to watch a freighter cross our path. We used our new AIS tracking doodad to figure out whether boats were going to hit us. It was great!


We made it to the Cape Cod Canal around 8:30 on Monday morning. On the other side, Buzzards bay dished up 15 knot wind gusting to 30. It’s hard to keep sailing when you only slept 2.5 hours the night before! In any case, we got to Newport right on schedule on Monday night. The wind continued to the end but I managed to bake muffins (albeit under-cooked muffins) before we arrived. Lee’s mom met us on shore after we picked up a mooring. We showered in the hotel where Lee’s parents were spending the night, went out to dinner, and then totally crashed. The sailors looked and acted like zombies. We were sooooo tired.
Yesterday we all went to Connecticut to visit Lee’s grandmother. Her home is in a rural area with lots of farms and it’s so beautiful. After a day of visiting and working in the yard, Lee and I returned to the boat and relaxed in our home before another much needed good night’s sleep!

Here’s the pictures from the trip!

Maine to Newport

So here I am, sitting in the cafe at the Seaman’s Church Institute, an old organization that supports those who live on the sea. There are showers, a cafe, laundry, library, chapel, and of course WiFi! I’m certainly enjoying it!
We will probably be here for a while. The weather doesn’t look good to get out of here this week and Hood sails is fixing out undersized hanks. Meanwhile, I’m going to revel in Newport’s fall beauty, go running, hang out here, blog as much as I can, and continue to put things together on the boat. It never ends.

Posted October 20, 2010 by Rachel in Getting started

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