Getting out while we still can   Leave a comment

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Elizabeth Harbor had its beautiful moments. You can barely see how the bottoms of the clouds reflects the turquoise water on the banks.

        George Town was madness. In fact, I’m sure the madness continues as I write this, I’m just not around to witness it. As I’m sure I said before, I’ve never seen so many boats in my life. What’s amazing about it, though, isn’t the number of boats but the fact that they all have people on them and almost all of them sailed to George Town from some somewhere far away. The networks of cruising friends are impressive and the range of boats amusing. Lee and I never get tired of chuckling at ginormous catamarans with min-masts and I’m always interested to see what the heavily outfitted cruisers have on deck.
        George Town also introduced us to a new style of dinghy driving: lets call it the George Town Stand-up. This behavior is usual exhibited by lone dinghy operators but may take place in boats with multiple passengers. The person driving the dinghy stands in about the middle of the boat, facing forward with legs spread for balance, and holds their outboard motor tiller extension in one hand. The non-driving hand grips the boat’s painter/bow line for stability. It’s really doesn’t look that stable, though. In the rough conditions in Elizabeth harbor this past week I thought for sure I’d see someone fly backwards off their boat as it launched over a wave. No such luck. My theory behind why people drive like this is that they don’t want to get their butts wet. The middle of the dinghy it usually the driest place and who wants to show up to cocktail hour with soggy shorts?
        Lee and I spent a week in our anchorage off Stocking Island. We almost left yesterday but had a lot to do that morning and would not have made it to Long Island in the time we had left. The day before, Lee put on his scuba gear to search for our friends’ anchor. They had lost one of their two anchors when they pulled them up to move to the other side of the harbor. With the help of the GPS coordinates of their anchorage, Lee found the missing ground tackle in less than 15 minutes. He used the rest of the air in his little tank to change Pirat’s zincs.
        The most important goal of our stay in George Town was to find a place to moor Pirat while we fly to our wedding. After a little hunting, some pestering, and some reconnaissance snorkeling, we think we found a place. We’ll have to get Pirat over two tight spots depth-wise, once of which is very tight. The mooring basin that would only require one sketchy passage is full. We’re pretty much crossing our fingers that we can get in to the farthest basin. The only alternative is an extremely over-priced marina.

        This morning we got up at our usual early hour but had to forego our usual puttering around or exercise in order to get out of the harbor at a reasonable hour. The 20 something mile sail to the northern tip of Long Island was straight upwind. 15-20 knots of breeze with substantial swells and wind chop made this a solent day. We got enough spray over the deck to wash of some of the sand that has been accumulating. I, inevitably, did not feel well. It’s been a long time since we’ve done any sailing in real ocean conditions! I did manage to bake another beautiful loaf of bread, despite the conditions. It wasn’t actually ready until we dropped anchor in Calabash bay but it sure was a good after-sail snack.
        We’re anchored in a rather open bay with a long, sandy beach and not much protection from wind or swells. Still, it’s not too uncomfortable. A boat friend of ours is anchored in Joe’s Sound, just around the corner from us. We might try to get in their tomorrow, although it’s probably too shallow for us.         The beach here looks good for yoga and Lee promises to wait for me to establish whether there are bugs around or not before he rows away and leaves me to be eaten alive.

Posted March 9, 2011 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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