Saturday, November 04, 2006

New London to Old Saybrook, CT

20.4 nm
Wind: Calm to NW 5 knots
Seas: Three feet
Maximum speed: 5.5 knots
Maximum speed under sail: 5 knots, with the current
Average speed: 2.8 knots
Latitude: 41°28.99’N
Longitude: 072°35.98’W

It’s quarter to four in the afternoon, the boat is zooming along under diesel and autopilot (whom we have christened “The Master”, because of his appellation, “Master Tiller,” and Karl and I are learning about currents. Who would have thought that it would be a bad idea to tack out into a place in Long Island Sound called “the Race” because of the swiftness of its currents when there was an outgoing full-moon 4.2-knot tide? Not us. We boldly attempt to sail in 5-knot winds against an opposing four-knot current. We’re brilliant.

But it’s okay. Everyday we learn about something. Today it’s currents, yesterday it was the autopilot, the day before it was reefing—every day we learn something new.

Okay. I wrote the above earlier while we were sailing. We’ve since pulled into Old Saybrook Harbor, attempted to anchor in North Cove, which has a controlling depth of five-and-a-half feet, according to our charts, and run aground. So today, maybe, we’re learning about running aground. Allegedly Einstein ran aground here too, at the mouth of the Connecticut River, so at least we’re in good company. We also know that the tide’s coming in, so we should be able to float free in a couple of hours or so. Unless we get blown farther onto the shoals by our mainsail, which is still up. We can’t get it down unless we point into the wind, which we can’t do while we’re run aground.

I made the boys (Karl and Wade) hot buttered rums, per Lin Pardey’s recipe. I know that everyone runs aground, and every sailor has stories to tell about it, but still. I feel stupid, sitting out here in the middle of the cove, in front of some people’s houses, with our mainsail up. I’m worried that we’re going to lie over on our side. I’m worried that we won’t float free, or that we’ll run aground again, on higher ground, when the tide comes up.

Meanwhile, Wade’s reading the Tao Te Ching and Karl’s making chili, with apparent unconcern. I, too, am feigning unconcern. But I am not unconcerned. This, however, is out of my hands. Either the tide will get us out of here, or I guess we’re spending the winter in Connecticut. More as news develops.

An hour later… We came adrift, got the mainsail down, and anchored in five feet of water. Even if we go aground at three o’clock in the morning, we’ll be free by four when we’re planning to leave. We have to be to New Haven by tomorrow night to get Wade on the bus back to his car. So we have to sail with the current tomorrow. Still, everything turned out. Maybe I need to have more faith. Einstein did, evidently.

1 comment:

Ellen, John & Sophia said...

Hot buttered rums are our favorie underway drink. We oul not have survived Long Island Sound (frigid, frigid place) without them-

We ran agroun at least half a dozen times on the way South- almost always my doing. It stings everytime, but it happens because you're out there, doing it, and that's more than most people are doing!!!