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Main Menu -> User Voyages -> Private Vessels -> SV Rocinante - 2005

SV Rocinante - 2005

Log of

July 26th 2005 @ 11:44
41°13'0.12 N 73°58'0.12 W

Ship's Log:
First Entry:

Putting together lists, checking items off, way behind schedule... but still optimistic about an August 1 departure.

August 5th 2005 @ 19:09
41°13'0.12 N 73°58'0.12 W

Ship's Log:
OK folks... today is August 5th and we are about two inches away from where we started... thatīs right, we are still in our slip.

This morning, after a 10 AM conference call with Citigroup, we headed out.
We filled out tanks with water, pulled out of our slip and headed over to the fuel dock.  We filled up the tanks, filled up an extra 5-gallon jug, filled the tanks for the tender, pumped out our waste tanks and grabbed a bag of ice.

We headed out into Haverstraw bay and... we couldnīt get above 3 knots with black smoke coming out the exhaust... WONDERFUL!

Quick call to my marine connection George, and we determine itīs barnacle build up on the prop... done in by a crustacean!

We head back to the slip, I done the mask. snorkel and fins (yes, I have pictures) and under the boat I go.

Well, canīt see a damn thing, donīt really know where the heck the prop is... I mean, I know in relative terms, but when youīre diving under the boat holding your breath with the hopes of scraping barnacles off the prop, you need to know EXACTLY where it is!

Needless to say, George is a bit wealthier... he showed up with his scuba gear, dived under the boat and 15 minutes later emerged triumphant... not more barnacles!

Headed out for a test run... speed is much better, still some black smoke, but George assures me itīs just residue at this point.

I guess tomorrow is another day...

As I once read, the difference between an ordeal and an adventure, is Attitude... we are on one heck of an ADVENTURE!

Till next time,
Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante ..._/)

August 7th 2005 @ 12:43
40°54'54.00 N 73°23'6.00 W

Ship's Log:
Well, we finally left our slip and are on our way!

All of the excitement of the last few days was now behind us as we headed down the Hudson towards Battery Park, around Manhattan, up the east river and across Long Island sound to our lovely cove in Northport Bay.  Finally, peace, quite and serenity... NOT!

Lets back it up a bit...
Friday night we spent a number of hours undoing the last few days worth of strategic stowing... moving the heavier items (3 cases of wine) from the aft locker to the v-berth in an attempt to evenly distribute the weight between the bow and the stern... thatīs the front and the back for you land-lubbers!

Saturday morning, we had a lovely breakfast, fought with the GPS which wasnīt picking up the satellites, topped off the water tanks, picked up a couple of bags of ice and headed out.
We were doing great!  Rocinante (our sail boat, in case you didnīt already know) was handling well and we were on track to hit the Battery in time to catch the tide up the East River.

We cruised under the Tappan Zee Bridge heading towards the George Washington when the engine started to struggle a bit.  Looking into the cabin, I spotted the floor boards floating around the cabin and water gushing up from the bilge... now, I know Iīm pretty new to all this, but I was pretty sure the water was supposed to stay outside the boat!

Youīve never seen to people react faster than we did (after the initial panic of course)...

We headed out of the channel to stay clear of commercial traffic on the river (yes, water is still gushing in!) I ran forward to release the anchor in record time (adrenaline! ...what a wonderful thing) killed the engine and had Ada (aka Maria) dug the handle to the manual bilge pump out of the starboard locker and started pumping like mad!  At this point, the water had stopped coming in, and I went below to corral the plastic boxes used to hold our wine glasses (picture a bunch of wine glasses aboard their own little lifeboats!) and figure out what was going on.

Best as I can tell, as usual, several little things conspired against us... The float switch on the electric bilge pump fried just as we went through the wake of a large cargo ship, which had submerged the bilge outlet at exactly the right time causing the water to be start siphoning back down the hose going to the bilge pump.  Needless to say, as we headed out of the channel at full-throttle (pushing the stern further below the surface of course) we kept the water flowing nicely into the bilge... once we stopped and the stern returned to itīs normal state, the water stopped!

We lost an hour during the "floating floor boards" incident, but we had enough margin of error around the tides to still make the trip up the East River.

So as you can imagine, we spent the rest of the trip with the bilge open looking down into the cabin every time we rode through a wake... there are a lot of wakes on the Hudson!

The East River was a mess, tons of traffic, confused currents... and the damn ferries from the Atlantic Highlands!  All said though we made it up the East River and through Hell Gate without incident and cruised into Long Island sound.  

We decided to alter our eveningīs destination from Little Neck Bay to "Our Cove" in Northport Bay instead.  For those of you that are new to the ongoing Sagas of Rocinante the wonder sailboat, we rode out tropical storm Henri two years ago in this lovely cove... (see pictures from Block Island trip).  That would mean a night crossing (ok, so itīs not the Atlantic, but itīs still a crossing), but we were confident we could find our way...

Sure enough, it was a lovely night, cool breezes and no more WAKES!

Link to picture of the sky during our evening on the sound...

We easily plotted our course and picked up the primary buoys al the way to "G"15 which marked the entrance to Lloydīs Harbor.  Then it got interesting... picture Ada with a flashlight yelling "I think I see one over there" "Where?" "Over there!"... "Oh, wait, no, thatīs another boat"... "no, no, there it is!" "are you sure?"... Slowly we found our way from unlit buoy to unlit buoy until we came to our spot and dropped anchor.

But, wait, the story is not over... as we lay in bed, we wondered... ok, Ada wondered... arenīt we anchored a bit too far in?  We decided that it would be wiser and safer to pull up anchor and move rather than wake up at 6 AM (low tide) with the Rocinante beached and laying on itīs side!

Iīll spare everyone the bloody details, but lets just say it wasnīt the smoothest re-anchoring on record.  The good news, is that when we woke up, a "no wake" marker, not too far from where we were anchored, was laying on itīs side!  Score one for the home team!

This morning is glorious!
We enjoyed blueberry pancakes in the cockpit with some great coffee and a fabulous breeze!

Link to picture of blueberry pancake remains...

Thatīs about it for now... we plan on staying put for a day or so as we re-coup and replace the bilge-pump and float switch... the Adventure continues!

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 9th 2005 @ 09:44
40°54'55.08 N 73°23'7.08 W

Ship's Log:
Where did we leave off?
Oh, thatīs right, we finally made it to our idyllic cove.  Talk about "water colored memories"...
Not long after breakfast, the natives started their attack... jet skis screaming past us; fishing boats throwing up huge wakes as they race out of the bay; power boats literally running circles around us pulling screaming children on floating contraptions!  When we werenīt pitching up and down, we were rolling side to side... ah yes, what a relaxing day!

Ada (Maria) battled with Mal-de-mar and spent the better part of the day wishing all sorts of evils on these devils!  Later in the day, as one of them roared past us, we heard a little girl shouting with glee and realized, they were just having fun... perspective, what a concept!

Once the day wore on, the power boats went their own way, and the cove we remembered slowly returned... the weekend was over, tomorrow we would have it all to ourselves again.

We woke up Monday to an awesome sunrise... unfortunately, by the time I got my camera and pulled out the companionway boards, it was over... oh, well, youīll just have to take my word for it.

The waters were calm; we had a quite breakfast (granola today... I guess blueberry pancakes every day would get boring) and prepared for the day ahead.  Made my calls to the office, problems with my wireless connection prevented me from hitting email, but seems things are under control.

Link to picture of cove in Northport Bay (from anchorage)...

We waited until about 11:30 or so for it to be close to high tide; pulled up anchor and headed for the town docks.  We tied up and headed into Northport for lunch at the Shipīs Inn.

We shared an order of Clams on the half shell; followed by a nice salad (blue cheese dressing for me; oil and vinegar for Maria).  My choice for lunch was Chicken Francaise with linguine; Maria chose Grilled Cajun Shrimp over rice... both excellent choices.  We finished lunch off with some great coffee and shared a slice of black forest cake... overall, an excellent afternoon!

Now to the business at hand... repairs!
Found some work gloves at a local hardware store (yep, they still exist!) and found that the only marine supply store was a bit over a mile away (uphill of course)... so off we went.

After walking off lunch (well maybe a clam or two) we were on our way back to the town docks with our newly purchased parts: a replacement bilge pump; a replacement float switch; a one-way in-line valve to prevent the previous "adventure" from happening again; some heat shrink tubing for the electrical connections; hose clamps and finally a back-up bilge pump and float switch Obviously, you never know when youīre going to need one of these things)

Back at the boat, I proceeded to make myself comfortable; yeah right!
Hot and sweaty twisted like a pretzel underneath the dining table fighting with a tangle of electrical wires and hoses is more like it!

Needless to say, the screw holes of the previous pump didnīt match those of the current pump and I really wasnīt prepared to drill new holes into the lead keel, so I made due (got two of the four to line up... good enough)... completed all the wiring; cut through the hose; added the new check valve; replaced clamps, etc., etc., etc.... having defeated the beast in the bilge, I arose from the pits of hell triumphant!

If youīve been following along, you already know whatīs coming next... thatīs right boys and girls! The %^&*$#@ pump wouldnīt work!

Undaunted, and yelling several expletives, I dove in; ripped the beast loose and found that it was actually faulty... (tested with the back-up... see, it already paid off).  Calling the marine store, I found it was closing at 6:00 PM... yep it was now 5:55 PM!  Off we went... me racing back to the store on foot, Maria waiting at the town docks for a cab to hopefully pick me up for the trip back.

The new pump went in with testing after every single step to ensure each and every thing worked... this time it worked... lesson learned: just because it comes in a pretty new box doesnīt mean it works... test everything before installing!

Link to Bilge Pump picture

We cleaned up, got rid of our refuge and cast off our dock lines... time to re-fuel and head back to our anchorage.  Too tired to even think about cooking, we heated up some soup for dinner and crashed in the cockpit...

Itīs now Tuesday... the skies are gray and itīs a bit hazy, and we have a cool breeze blowing in.  Weīll probably stay put one more day, as we plan our next leg... either Milford Connecticut (about a 4.5 hour sail) or Fisherīs Island (about a 13 hour sail)... the Adventure continues!

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 10th 2005 @ 16:44
40°54'55.08 N 73°23'7.08 W

Ship's Log:
Good morning boys and girls!

What can I say; yesterday was simply picture perfect!

The skies cleared up a bit, the seas were calm and we were well rested from the previous dayīs endeavors.  Breakfast (the most important meal of the day) was simply amazing... the simplest things take on new meaning when you pare down to the bare essentials... take toast for example.  No toaster aboard our boat, so what do you do?  Ahh, a little bit of butter in a non-stick skillet and you have the most amazing toast youīve ever had... add to that some great scrambled eggs; slow cooked bacon (the alcohol stove doesnīt produce the kind of heat you get out of your typical gas stove) and hot fresh brewed black coffee... a meal fit for a king and queen!

We lounged about the boat most of the morning Maria reading her book and yours truly writing the latest entry.  Morning gently moved into late morning and we started to think about lunch (perhaps we are hobbits and donīt really know it).  We had a couple of steaks that wouldnīt last much longer sitting in the "ice box" and being the frugal cruiser types that we are, decided that a nice rib steak for lunch would be a good idea... by this time, the winds had picked up a bit, and while not uncomfortable, certainly too windy to fire up the barbeque.  Fortunately, there is always more than one way to get things done... I fired up both burners on the stove, turn them up as high as they would go (more or less) and heated up the griddle while I prepped the steaks... a bit of freshly ground salt and pepper would do just fine.  Prepared a nice salad; romaine lettuce, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts with a bit of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil... yummy! (especially with the bottle of red wine... remember, we have 3 cases to go through!).

After lunch, we contemplated our mid-afternoon snack... actually, we decided to inflate the tender and head to the beach.  The process went fairly well.  Maria and I took turns at the pump (really should have gone for the electric one!) about 30-45 minutes later, we had it inflated on the foredeck and now needed a way of getting the darn thing in the water.  Now this puppy is heavy, a bit over 100lbs, so you canīt really just pick it up and toss it over the side... wait a minute, perhaps you can?  Well, at that point in time, I didnīt think of it, so I proceeded to set up a sling attached to a spare halyard, to hoist the tender over the life lines and gently lower it into the water... you got it.
The process resembled something akin to putting a cat in a bathtub... the tender was all over the place reaching out and grabbing every shroud, stanchion and innocent bystander it could... it was not going to cooperate!  Eventually, we not so elegantly, shoved it tail down over the rail and into the water... in the end, it worked, but we obviously need to work on our technique.

We loaded up the cooler with water, grabbed our PFDs (personal flotation devices), a beach towel and headed to the beach.  Oh, did I forget to tell you that the instructions on the outboard warn you of death and/or serious bodily injury if you simply clamp it to the stern without drilling holes and attaching it with bolts... who knew and where the heck was I going to get a drill now!

So it was row, row, row your boat... about a mile and a quarter to the beach... actually not as bad as I thought it would be, I think I had the wind and current with me!  We had a great time just walking the beach collecting shells and stones for our soon to be "sea shell and stones" collection.

It really was one of those moments where you sit on a bench on a beach and realize that the best things in life truly are free (ok, more or less free).  Having enjoyed our time ashore, (except for a little incident involving a "Good Humor Icecream truck" and me having forgotten to bring money) we got back in our little tender and headed back to Rocinante as she bobbed gently at anchor... "a bit to your right"... "now a bit to your left"... "hold it, hold it"... I zigged and zagged my way back... ok, so my rowing skills need some work as well, bottom line, I got us safely back aboard Rocinante and started to contemplate dinner. (definitely hobbits!)  The evening called out for linguine with Clam sauce and a nice cool white... down to the cellar I went (figuratively of course) and came up with a nicely chilled Chenin Blancī... perfect!

The results were less than perfect, no fresh garlic and onions... who was in charge of provisioning?!... oh, that would be me... oh, well, it was none the less edible.  Our evening meal was made that much more enjoyable by a group of sailboat brethren that slowly made there way out of the nearby marina.  They came to great the setting sun slowly ghosting along... a solemn, silent procession of sailboat silhouettes against a crimson sunset... it was spectacular.  As the sun finished itīs evening performance, they all slowly pirouetted and disappeared into the darkness around the point.

It truly was a sight to behold (pictures coming... I promise)

I finished off the night with a glass of port and a cigar... thoughts of Control Point Solutions going through my head (donīt think so!)

We called it a night... and slept better than anyone has a right to.
Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

Link to sunset picture

August 12th 2005 @ 11:54
40°54'55.08 N 73°23'7.08 W

Ship's Log:
Friday, August 12, 2005 7:15 AM... the sounds of the sea, the flight attendant reminding everyone that this was the flight to Denver... Denver? "wake up!"... I look around, and no, it was not a dream Iīm in a cramped seat in row 24 of a jet on itīs way to Denver... how the heck did that happen?  Just two nights ago, I was enjoying the sights and sounds of a sunset over Northport Bay.

Ah, yes... it all started with a call Tuesday afternoon... damn cell phones!  I was needed in Denver on Friday.  Oh well, Maine will have to wait.  We started the process of finding a transient slip for Rocinante, she would have to stay behind and patiently await our return.

Wednesday morning found us in our cove, having breakfast: half a grapefruit, raisin bran flakes and of course, freshly brewed coffee.  We ate and waited for high tide... we draw about 6 ft. of water and the channel leading to our slip is tight and not very deep (about 9 ft. at high tide) plenty of room to spare!  Around 11:30, we start getting Rocinante ready.  We cleaned up a bit, set up our fenders; two on the port side, high up to fend off any potential slip mate and three on the starboard side just skimming the surface to protect Rocinante from chafing against the floating platform we would be tying off to... slip F30 at the Britannia Yacht Club.  A yacht club, sheīs never been to a "Yacht Club"... I wonder if the other boats will turn their noses up at her... unlikely, she may not come from money, but she has class... canīt buy that!  We haul up our anchor (we are really getting good at this part) and start on our short journey to the marina... sorry, "Yacht Club"

As we pass the town docks, I radio in "Britannia, Britannia, Britannia this is the sailing vessel Rocinante... we are just passing the town docks and request assistance at slip F30... over" pretty impressive no? ... "vessel hailing Britannia, we copy... an attendant will meet you at F30, over" VESSEL hailing Britannia? What? they canīt pronounce Rocinante?

Anyway, as we round the turn at "F" dock  looking for slip 30, we see a young man wearing a light blue T-shirt waving us in, ready to take our dock lines and tie us off... normally itīs Ada up on the edge, with line in hand waiting to jump off onto the bouncing dock... ah, the benefits of a "Yacht Club"

We slide gently into our slip (seriously, gently... Iīd tell you if I went in screaming and yelling; slamming the transmission into reverse to avoid impaling the passersby with my anchor) finished tying off, moved the tender to the bow and tied it off as well.  "it", just doesnīt sound right, weīll have to name "it" as well... later.

As we finished settling in, the skies opened up and it started to pour... perfect timing.  We waited out the downpour... brief passing thunderstorm... and headed to the office to sign in and find a place for lunch.  Nice bunch of folks, fairly painless process, nice little cafe by the pool, better than expected cheeseburger platter.  I track down the number for enterprise rent-a-car (they deliver you know) and called to arrange for our transportation home...  "what do you mean you donīt have any cars at the moment?"  Time for plan B: "very expensive but oh so nice car service, please pick us up at the Yacht Club" that should do it... "at best three hours wait... but weīre calling from the Yacht Club!"  Ok, no need to panic, there is always plans C, D, E and F!

Some where around plan "Y" someone took pity on us as we stood there madly clicking our heels together and offered to drive us to the train station in Huntington... I thought that was very nice of them, Maria figures I was starting to scare the "Club" members!

We made it to Huntington station without much incident and boarded a 4:05 train to Penn station... we would have to wing it from there.  Several switching delays later, we pull into Penn station, quickly spot the sign for NJ Transit trains and race for the gates... need to catch the 5:37 to Trenton (stops at Secaucus) so that we can catch the train going to Hawthorne.  We catch a fleeting glimpse as we rush along... West Gates, track "H" (something like that) I run over to the ticket machine credit card in hand, "swipe!" "select destination" this, that, the other place... "no, no show me more destinations!", this, that, the other other place... what the heck is this, how could it not show Hawthorne?... oh, itīs and Amtrack ticket machine, not NJ Transit... %@#&*!

We race down the escalator and jump on the train... a few minutes to spare... yes, almost home!
We purchase our tickets on board... $5 dollar surcharge, thank you... we pull in to the Secaucus transfer station, head up the escalator and come face to face with a turnstile expecting us to slip one of the little cardboard tickets through the reader in order to exit... but wait, we have a flimsy little green paper ticket with funny punches in it... how the heck are we supposed to get out... Trapped!

We look around desperately for an attendant, no one in sight!  We contemplate jumping the turnstile.. yeah, yeah like you see in the movies... we can do it!
Fortunately, an attendant showed up and let us through before I had time to lace up my converse all-stars... you know, sneakers!  Anyway, we made our connecting train to Hawthorne and I pulled out my trusty laptop with wireless aircard technology (yep, Iīm the man!) and proceeded to "Google" us up a cab ride from the Hawthorne train station... what, no cabs in Hawthorne? Damn those suburbanites and their six car garages! Ok, ok, Paterson... yes, Paterson will have cabs and they are only a few miles away... that will work... "ring", "ring"... "the number you have dialed has been disconnected" "click"... NO!  Ridgewood station, yes, Ridgewood station would have cabs waiting around to whisk us home.  One of the passengers must have noticed the panic in my voice as I asked the conductor about it, because he offered me the number of the Ridgewood Cab Company... excellent... "At least an hour wait?!"  "oh, you can recommend a cab company in Paterson?"... please donīt let it be the one with no phone... "Thanks" ... a few tense minutes later, the cab arrives and weīre on our way... keys? What keys?!  A quick, panicked search through the backpack finds them at the bottom of the pack... absolute, unadulterated luck... Maria had put them in the backpack the day before when we went to the beach... yes, score another one for the home team!

We get into the house and feel a strange sensation... itīs cooler inside that it is outside... what is this?  Ah, yes, AIR CONDITIONING!

So here we are my friends, me, winging my way to Denver, Maria, at home awaiting my return and Rocinante, restless in her slip... each of us looking forward to resuming our journey northward first thing Monday morning.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 16th 2005 @ 08:27
40°54'55.08 N 73°23'7.08 W

Ship's Log:
Good morning all.
Just in case you havenīt figured it out, our little adventure is on hold... A few more issues at the office coupled with the possible heavy weather from passing Tropical Storm Irene (seems to no longer be an issue) finds us taking a one week break.

We should be on our way again this weekend, as the adventure continues.

BTW, I updated most of the previous entries with links to some associated pictures... enjoy!

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 22nd 2005 @ 18:45
41°0'2.88 N 72°24'10.08 W

Heading 91°
Speed 6

Ship's Log:
OK folks, catching up so here are the last couple of days...
Monday, August 22, 2005

2:00AM sounded like a good idea at the time, but reality quickly set in and we figured what the heck, so weīll fight the tides a bit... we got up around 6:15, made a pot of coffee, had a quick breakfast (cereal), pulled up anchor and headed out... Destination: Fishers Island.

We set a course for the buoy outside Loyds Neck, then for G"11B", then for R"2", then for RG"TE" then for R"4"... finally for West Harbor, Fishers Island.

You werenīt expecting an entry full of mishaps and "adventures" like the last bunch were you?
Yep, it was truly uneventful and yet everything we had hoped for... my guess, is that most cruising days resemble today... just the quite simple passage of time out at sea.  We finally broke the "Northport and no further" curse that had been dogging us ever since our ill-fated "Block Island" trip.  We turned into the entrance to West Harbor somtime around 19:10, we knew we were home.

It was absolutely gorgeous... tranquil waters surrounded by a wooded landscape, punctuated here and there with large, but oh so tasteful New England style homes... (no McMansions here) and just as beautiful, over a dozen fellow cruisers lay at anchor, clearly stating "yes, you are now one of us"  we slowly worked our way towards what seemed like a suitable anchoring site... close to the others, but not so close as to intrude, or be intruded upon... dropped anchor and settled in.

The event called for a celebration, so we popped open one of our bottles of inexpensive champagne (the good stuff is reserved for our final destination) cut into our favorite wedge of manchego and sat in the cockpit taking it all in.  The universe must have known it was a special evening, because it treated us to yet another spectacular sunset:

Link to Fishers Island Sunset...

We decided to spend the next day exploring the Island... Cuttyhunk would have to wait!
I jury rigged a harness to lower the outboard onto the tender using our main halyard (wow, all these nautical terms... I must really know what Iīm doing... yep!)  Well, it actually went reasonably well and we managed to not kill ourselves in the process... yet another for the home team!  We motored over to the fuel dock, tied of the tender and started looking for the "restaurant at the Mobil dock with the excellent lobster rolls".  Well, it seems the cruising guide is a bit out of date, because said restaurant had been closed down some 5 years earlier... oh well, off we went for a walk to town to our second choice... the Pequot.  As luck would have it, it was closed... (apparently, lunch was only served Fri-Sun)  We needed a plan "C", so I asked one of the "locals" and was directed to the "News Café" where, we had some great sandwiches (little metal café tables out on the sidewalk beside the store... kewl!)  after lunch, we walked back to the dock, hopped back into our tender, released the dock lines and pushed away from the dock as I gave a confident yank on the starter cord.  "sputter, sputter, sputter"  wait a minute, this puppy started up on the first pull when we left Rocinante, what the heck is this? "Yank, Yank, YANK!" nothing, ok, now we are drifting out and this damn thing wont start... ok, adjust the chock, adjust the idle speed, "Yank, Yank, YANK!" nothing! ok, grab the oars and row back to the dock... I finally got the darn thing started (still donīt know why it didnīt start and hasnīt happened again... hate those situations... just waiting to ambush me when I least expect it)

Oh yes, I forgot to mention, while I was finding out about the café, we ran into a couple who also tried going to the Pequot for lunch.  Interestingly enough, I recognized their dog (I had spotted it walking around the large blue yacht anchored next to us) we exchanged hellos, we mentioned our intentions to head for Cuttyhunk and were quickly dissuaded!  It seems that Cuttyhunk is overrun with tourist and is not quite as "quaint" as it used to be... next stop Newport Rhode Island!

That night, I redeemed myself in the cooking department... my linguine with clam sauce was exceptional... I really embraced the "cruiser thing", no onions, no problem... I grabbed the cocktail onions and chopped them up (who cruises without cocktail onions for martinis?) added a few anchovies and a spoonful of capers for added flavor and rounded it off with some freshly grated salt, freshly grated pepper and of course some crushed red pepper flakes!

Time for another sunset... not quite as spectacular, but hey Iīve yet to see one that has made me stop and look.  Tomorrow is another day, as we set off for yet another new port of call.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 22nd 2005 @ 19:46
41°17'17.88 N 72°1'36.12 W

Ship's Log:
Sunday, August 21, 2005 2:10 PM... ahh, yes, we are back on Rocinante!

As you know from our last few entries, our trip to Maine was temporarily interrupted by a call to duty from the office.  That interruption quickly expanded to a full week back at the office as we sorted things out.  But enough of that, weīre back on track (give or take)  Friday evening, we started the process of getting ready to head out again... collecting our things, setting them out, etc.  Saturday morning, we had breakfast; showered; packed up everything we had set out the night before made arrangements for a cab ride to the train station... weīre veterans now and had no problems!  Once again, we slowly made our way to Northport... cab to station; train to Secaucus; Secaucus to Penn Station; Penn Station to Huntington; cab to marina... sorry, Yacht Club.

Now that we were back aboard Rocinante, we started to prep for the next two weeks at sea.  We loaded up the laundry we had left behind and headed on down the hill.  Back then; we had decided it wasnīt a good idea to try heading home on a crowded commuter train lugging a bag of smelly laundry.  True honest to goodness cruisers!  We had our backpacks and nothing was going to get in our way.  Gotcha!  You were all expecting some sort of catastrophe, werenīt you?  Well, not this time... everything went as smooth as silk.  We walked our now well known mile and a quarter to town, turned up one of the side streets and made our way to a local self serve laundry.  Amazingly enough, we had a blast!  It really took us back to our early years as a newly wed couple in Union City, lugging our laundry to the Laundromat... just something very visceral about the whole thing!  Well, this place was truly a blast from the past and we just had to take a few pictures.

Link to picture of Ada by the washing machines:

While the laundry washed, we walked to main street and popped into a local "five and dime" (go ask you parents... theyīll know what Iīm talking about) we picked up a square baking pan, a few more kitchen towels and a couple of other odds & ends.  It was about time for the wash to be done, so we cut through one of the side streets and found our way back to the laundromat.  We were a bit early, but within a few minutes our wash was done and was moved to the dryers... not fun, they simply took forever to dry.  We folded our laundry, packed it all neatly into our backpacks and made our way back up the hill.  Oh, yes, we made one little side trip to a local frozen custard shop... no, not an ice cream shop, a FROZEN CUSTARD SHOP... It was amazing!  Maria had a scoop of coconut custard on a sugar cone and I had a cup of lemon custard.  As Alton Brown would say, Seriously Good Eats!  We made our way back to Rocinante, put everything away and prepared for the evening ahead.  The custard was actually quite filling, so we opted for a little appetizer instead of a full blown dinner: Sopressata, Kalamata Olives, Manchego Cheese and saltines washed down with some exceptional Margaritas (I must say, I make a mean rocks margarita)

Our slip-mates were having a heck of a party, so we just hung in the cockpit listened to the mostly dated, but sometimes pretty good music blasting through the marina and relaxed.

Today, we went through our usual Sunday routine... yep, pancakes...(fresh strawberries this time)
Cleaned up, pulled out the charts to figure out our next two legs (Northport to Fishers Island; Fishers to Cuttyhunk) then headed for the pool for a quick dip to refresh ourselves (very nice... water was 77 degrees!) and some lunch.  Weīre now back on Rocinante writing this entry and waiting for 4:00 PM before heading out.  Weīll be heading over to our favorite cove to wait out the tide change... weīll have an early dinner (probably kielbasa with sauerkraut) and pull up anchor around 2:00 AM as we start our 12hr journey North East to Fishers Island.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 24th 2005 @ 18:48
41°18'27.00 N 71°38'34.08 W

Heading 50°
Speed 3

Ship's Log:
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This morning finds us getting ready to go... we have quick, but oh so nice french toast breakfast

We need ice and fuel, so we pull up anchor and head on over to the fuel dock where we met a most helpful lady by the name of Sarah... Sarah not only helped us with our diesel needs, but went out of her way to recommend a couple of great restaurants she had been to in Newport!
She also pointed us towards the yacht club where we got a recommendation to stay at the Goat Island Marina just across from Newport, to avoid the "mess" in Newport proper.  

We pushed off and were on our way.  As with each new leg, this trip was to bring all new experiences... first and foremost, we were leaving the Long Island Sound; we would have nothing between us and England but the Atlantic Ocean off our starboard side and we would make landfall in a new state!

09:30 We made our way out of the harbor and made for RN "4" (one of the buoys marking the rocky shore) on a compass heading of 86 degrees magnetic doing about 5.1 knots several minor course changes later, we turned Rocinante on a compass heading of 104 degrees magnetic, and settled in for a 3 hour leg... wait, wasnīt that how it all started for Gilligan... a 3 hour tour?

Well, the weather starting getting rough and our tiny ship was tossed and if not for the courage of the fearless crew, Rocinante would be lost... ok, so we turned and ran!  But on a sail boat "running" is like me "running" in the Chase corporate challenge... simply a figure of speech!  

Link to picture of storm clouds in our wake (previously titled "time to change your shorts")

So we did the next best thing, we altered course to 50 deg. Magnetic in order to cut some time off our trip... in reality, the black clouds turned out to be "more bark than bite" while they remained present, the wind fairly quickly died down, the seas calmed and we got just a few drops of rain...

At 15:40, I altered course yet again to avoid a more insidious danger from below... we had some how found out way to a torpedo range area!  Not quite sure what that meant, but thought it prudent to stay the heck out of "the box"  at 15:55 having safely made it around, we resumed our previous heading and made our way to Newport!

Link to picture of lighthouse at entrance...

Link to picture of Fort Adam...

...Undaunted, we reached our destination and tied off at slip G86 at the Goat Island Marina without further incident... did I tell you about the Coast Guard Gunship coming up behind us? Another time perhaps...

That evening we decided to have dinner at the Marina Grill, and were not disappointed!
Except for the fact that some silly rule precluded the use of glass out on the deck, our dinner was great, and I wouldnīt hesitate to recommend it... but lets get back to the out of plastic cups? Come on, I felt like I should send it back and ask for a recent vintage of ThunderBird!

The views where amazing, and we were treated to a dual rainbow after a brief shower...

Link to picture of Newport from Goat Island...

Link to picture of dual rainbows...

We headed back, satiated and ready for another night aboard our beloved Rocinante!

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 25th 2005 @ 18:48
41°18'27.00 N 71°38'34.08 W

Ship's Log:
Thursday, August 25, 2005

After breakfast, we spent the morning planning our next leg... this one is going to be tough!

We need to get up Buzzards Bay.. now why the heck would you name a body of water we need to traverse after a flying scavenger that feeds on the remains of the dead?  Couldnīt they call it "flat as glass bay"? Of course not!  After that, we need to make our way through the Cape Cod canal... nasty current, so a vessel like ours (oh so lovely, but slow as all heck) is only allowed to enter with a favorable current... that would be somewhere around 10:00 PM Friday night which means that we would exit on the other side somewhere around midnight... gee, sounds like fun!

That being the case, we arranged for a slip on the Eastern end of the canal to spend the night before proceeding across to Provincetown the following morning.

With our next leg charted, we decided to take some time to scrub Rocinante down before catching the water shuttle from Goat Island to Newport for the day.

Quick side note has to be made: Maria is really starting to get the hang of using the parallel rules to determine course headings as well as the dividers to tick off distances on the chart... on the trip to Newport, we calculated estimated positions on the chart every hour and were pretty much dead on when we compared our results to the GPS... weīre ready for anything!

We headed to Newport, had a ridiculously expensive lunch consisting of the worst crab cakes and mussels weīve ever had (the fries where good) grabbed some Ben and Jerryīs and spent the next few hours walking around Newport.

Around 3:30 or so, we headed back, did a small load of laundry (hey, you do it while you have the chance you know?)

Tonight weīll eat, drink and be merry... tomorrow?

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 26th 2005 @ 23:11
41°43'30.00 N 70°38'20.04 W

Heading 59°
Speed 5

Ship's Log:
Friday, August 26, 2005

Letīs see, where did we leave off?
Ah yes, the trip up BUZZARDS BAY! (creepy music in the background... flash of lightning... clap of thunder)

We awoke Friday morning to yet another beautiful day, hailed the pump-out boat on the VHF and readied Rocinante for the upcoming leg.  The pump-out boat showed up in short order... an older gentleman with a white beard and straw hat shouted out an amazingly cheerful "good morning" and pulled up alongside us.  I had already unscrewed the cap on the holding tank and was waiting for him to hook up his hose... this thrilled him to no end.  As he went about his business of pumping out our holding tank, he commented on how so many people donīt even no where the holding tank is, donīt know what to do etc... Iīve got to tell you, this guy was truly happy!  He told us how he had taken the business over from his dad, and how stupid he had been not to have done it sooner, how he spends all day out on the water and itīs not as bad as people think, etc., etc., etc.  

So again, here is a guy whoīs job is to literally suck crap out of peoples boats and he is absolutely thrilled... makes you think, no?

We rinsed the toilet a few more times with fresh water, just for good measure, he unhooked his hose, rinsed off Rocinante collected his $5 and went off on his merry way to his next customer!

That particular task out of the way, we topped of the water tanks and headed to the fuel dock for ice and diesel.  (BTW, itīs usually yours truly holding a vacuum hose down hard, hoping it doesnīt pop loose and shower me with you know what!)

We left Newport behind, slowly making our way out of the harbor out to Rhode Island Sound.
Iīm not quite sure what happened, but almost immediately, we started having problems telling where we were and in turn, where we were heading.  Perhaps it was the fact that it was such a huge expanse of water; perhaps it was all of the buoys marking the various harbors in this particular area; perhaps it was the constant change of course to avoid the wakes created by the unbelievably self-absorbed imbeciles aboard mega-yachts prowling these waters.  Whatever the cause, we missed R2, but eventually found R2a... little did we know that this was a hint of things to come.

We slowly made our way towards Cuttyhunk, where we would turn north up Buzzards Bay.
The trip went without incident.  It was amazing just being out there with no one in sight for hours on end...  such a sharp contrast to the crowded waters around Newport.

Link to picture of sailboat we met along the way...

About three hours into our journey, we turned north into Buzzards Bay... almost instantly the waters changed... still quite pleasant, but we now had two foot following seas and you could sense that it was building.  Build they did, as the hours went by, the seas kept growing, first it was the occasional three footer, then those became the norm with the occasional four footer, then those became the norm... again, no big deal, but it was certainly starting to tell a story.

Link to picture of R4, the buoy marking the entrance to Cuttyhunk...

BTW, the thing about following seas is that while plowing through waves is not exactly fun, you are very much in control of your vessel.  With following seas, they pick you up and you then slide down the back of them with little control... again, not really an issue on four footers, and all the "real" sailors out there are laughing at me right now, but with our limited experience, it was a bit unnerving.

As the day wore on, we started to really get confused... while we knew we were heading in the right direction (northish), and were generally in the right place (about the middle of Buzzards Bay), we were having a heck of a time telling exactly where we were along our plotted course.  Our time and speed calculations said we were more or less where our chart plotter said we were, but the buoys we were seeing, didnīt match the paper charts or the chart plotter!  Our anxiety grew with each growing wave and the diminishing light... we absolutely needed to get a fix on where we were before we got too close to the northern reaches of Buzzards Bay... we couldnīt afford to be off.  To add to the tension, the constant chatter on the VHF was concerning a 34ft cabin cruiser that had hit the rocks off Cuttyhunk and was sinking fast... fortunately, another vessel was in the area was able to rescue the three passengers and await the arrival of the Coast Guard.

Itīs getting dark, the seas continue to build... we now have six footers as the norm with the occasional eight... ok, this is no longer fun.  Iīve given up on the buoys, convinced that they have all been changed since the time my charts were printed and start focusing on landmarks.  We start trying to identify land masses on the charts that we see looming before us, not so easy... finally, we spot what looks to be a large radio tower and decide that based on everything else we "think" we see, we know where we are.  Based on our estimated position, we decide that to our left, is Hog Island, a natural breakwater that runs parallel to the Cape Cod canal entrance channel, a great place to get a bit of protection from the building seas.  We make our way towards Hog Island as the wind picks up and the seas continue to build.  The next 15 minutes seemed like an eternity!  Each passing eight to ten foot wave would pick Rocinante up... I would push the rudder hard to port in an attempt to control the slide down the backside and minimize the rolling effect.  Down below, books, bottles and anything else not properly restrained flew off the shelves.  Slowly but surely, we made our way across and in to the lee of the island.  The eight footers became four footers then quickly two footers... as we made our way past the solitary sail boat anchored inside this godsend, I turned Rocinante into the wind and went forward to release the anchor... Maria backed down hard to make sure we held, we left the engine running for a bit as insurance (with the safety of land comes the danger of being pushed up onto the rocks... some safety eh?)   We killed the engine, zipped up the dodger and sat.  Besides helping to keep you dry, the dodger does an incredible job of shutting out the wind and the associated noise.  Itīs amazing how our senses work... nothing has changed, but because we canīt feel it or hear it, we feel comforted and safe.

As the tension eased, it started to sink in, we had just gone through one hell of an experience!
Exactly why we were out here... next time, it wouldnīt be as bad... after all, we had experienced it before and had survived!  As we continued to calm down, we started to notice the stars above us, amazing!  Smiles returned to our faces... we climbed up on the cockpit lockers and peered over the dodger into the darkness.  We made dinner (donīt have a clue what we had, probably soup) and waited for the shift in tide before making the night passage through the canal to Sandwich MA.

9:45 PM... we pulled up anchor and headed out into the night to continue our trip.  Needless to say, we were not exactly looking forward to heading out again, but it had to be done and so we did.  As we nosed our way out from behind Hogs Island, we looked at each other and smiled, the change in tide had worked itīs magic... we no longer had the tide apposing the wind and thus, no major waves!  Not quite out of the woods yet, we set the main VHF on channel 16 and the handheld to channel 13 (Cape Cod Canal Traffic Control), turned into the channel and continued north, looking for the railroad bridge marking the entrance to the Canal.  We listened intently to the VHF, the only warning we would have of an oncoming barge... about 20 minutes later, we saw the bridge in front of us.  A quick radio check with Cape Cod Canal Traffic Control and we were on our way!

Link to picture of Railroad Bridge...

(The two orange dots towards the top and each end of the photo mark the top of each tower, the little green dots near the center mark the bottom of the bridge... donīt want to hit that! and the various red lights near the bottom and each end mark the stone towers... definately donīt want to hit those!)

The passage through the canal was exactly as we anticipated... smooth as silk!
We choose to go through at night for exactly this reason, not a single boat to be seen, and only one barge passed us on the way through.  The alternative was to wait for the morning tide on Saturday... to quote one of the folks I spoke to from CCCTC while planning the transit, "thatīs when the Yahoos come out"... the wakes of power boats and barges bouncing off the walls would have made the 2+ hour trip miserable!

Once we saw the power plant, we knew we were approaching our destination; the eastern end of the canal was at hand.  It was now around 11:30 and we longed to tie off for the night.  We had reserved a slip at the Sandwich Marina in what was once a harbor of refuge... we had falsely assumed it was outside the confines of the canal.  Fortunately, just off our starboard bow, I spotted what appeared to be an opening in the canal wall... far from sure, we turned towards the perceived opening and throttled back... never approach something unknown at a speed greater than youīre willing to hit it!
All hell broke loose! "Full Reverse!, Full Reverse!"

Just kidding, it was the marina... we slowly motored in looking for our slip:H29... I think there is a definite market for neon slip markers... you canīt read these things during the day, never mind at night... after a couple of turns around the marina, we decided that "this one" must be it... and if not, the heck with it, we were taking it!

We slid into our slip without incident, tied up, hooked into power and had ourselves a well earned sleep.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 27th 2005 @ 09:35
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Saturday, August 27, 2005

Wow, what a night!

After yesterdays trip, the 4 hour hop across Cape Cod Bay would be a breeze!
We lazed about most of the morning without a care in the world, no rush, no worries about making the next harbor before nightfall, nothing... we had reserved a mooring at fishers; yet another first for us.  We struck up a conversation with the folks on the sailboat that had been tied off alongside the main dock... as it turns out, they were on their way to Penobscot Bay themselves... a 20+ hour sail through the night... they suggested we do the same, and we considered it for quite some time.  In the end, we decided to stick to our plans, one-day legs... no more.  We didnīt want to push our luck any further than we already had... 60 miles out to sea for 20+ hours at night with the potential for fog and commercial traffic was more than we were willing to gamble on, so off to Provincetown we went!  Oh, I forgot to mention, as we sat there, a sailboat floated down the canal sideways! Yep, Floated, Sideways!  Ah, the price you pay for not paying attention to the tides!

As we motored out of the canal and readied our sails, we were greeted with absolutely flat waters and not even a hint of a breeze... figures, the wind is only around when you donīt want it!  We resigned ourselves to motoring across Cape Cod Bay.  Motoring and with flat seas, we made the approach to P-Town in record time, radioed Fishers for a mooring assignment and headed in.

Link to picture of the Pilgrim Monument on our approach...
We had anchored many times before, and pulled into slips, but we had never "picked up" a mooring.

This was a new challenge; we readied ourselves.  I would have to approach the mooring ball up wind, turn at precisely the right time to drift down to it, while, Maria, poised at the bow with our boat hook, would reach down and snatch the floated line securing it to our bow cleat just in time for it to tighten and hold us fast.  The slightest miscalculation and we would suffer dire consequences!

Piece of cake!

We are the greatest!

OK, perhaps itīs not actually as difficult as people had made it out to be.

Tied securely to our mooring, we got down to the business at hand... time to party!  We cleaned ourselves up, hailed the launch for a pick-up and headed into town.  If you havenīt been to Provincetown, you owe it to yourself to visit at least once... it is an amazing town.  The people are great and cover the entire social spectrum: college kids; artists; retirees; newlyweds; vacationers (US and overseas); cruisers (us); year-rounders and summer residents... all of the above come in several flavors of both heterosexual and homosexual singles and couples.  The most amazing thing is that they all seem to fit in... ignoring of course the men in full drag on roller skates!

But seriously, you watch the various pairs walking down the street, and it just seems OK... Iīm not sure why, perhaps because you expect it, perhaps because there is enough of each that no one couple stands out as odd... any way, interesting experience.

We walked the streets, trying to remember where we had and hadnīt been the last time we were here.  Once again, Iīm not sure if itīs simply old age setting in, or the shift in perspective (arriving by sea), but weīre never really sure... always an odd sense of deja vu.

We stopped by every restaurant and little cafe reading the menus and looking for a place to eat.  We had a few hours before dinner, but what the heck!

We went into various shops, walked down to the waterfront, and simply took in the town as we enjoyed our evening and made plans for the following day.  

As the evening wore on, our thoughts turned back to dinner (no question, Hobbits!)  We had spotted a rather high-end restaurant named Rossī and decided we would splurge!

We had an excellent glass of wine while we waited out on the balcony for our table to become available... we were shortly seated and ordered 6 shrimp, 6 oysters and 6 clams from the raw bar along with two glasses of an equally amazing champagne... Maria ordered the seafood risotto accompanied by another glass of champagne and I of course had the steak accompanied by another glass of the aforementioned red... we finished it off with an amazing piece of bread pudding and dark delicious coffee!  To top it all off, the service was phenomenal!

Nothing I say would do it justice, so Iīll leave it at this... If you are within 100 miles of this place, you owe it to yourself to stop for dinner.

After dinner, we walked the town a bit and eventually made our way over to the local Portuguese bakery and picked up a loaf of bread for tomorrowīs breakfast... while I was at it, I couldnīt resist and picked up one of their fried dough treats... not sure what it was called, but it sure looked good!  We then asked around to see where we could buy some eggs and were directed into town to a local gas station with one of those little minimarts.  We found our way through the back streets and eventually procured the eggs... plastic shopping bag in hand, we made our way back to the tourist sections of town... we were really getting the hang of this cruiser thing... first backpacking our dirty cloths to a laundry and now this!

Around 10:30 or so, we walked over to the wharf and picked up the launch that would take us back out to Rocinante, bobbing gently on her mooring.

It really was a great day...

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 28th 2005 @ 18:55
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Sunday, August 28, 2005

We awoke to yet another perfect day... this is really starting to get annoying ;-)

We spent the better part of the morning (after breakfast of course) pouring over our charts and listening to the marine weather forecast trying to figure out what our next leg would be.

We laid out a couple of different courses... number one on the list would take us straight out to the Isles of Shoal, our next choice, and backup course, would take us to Portsmouth.  Either one, would then be our jump off point to Penobscot Bay the following day.

Part of the decision making process also involved finding a marina where we could leave Rocinante for the winter... as I think I had mentioned, with all the interruptions, we had already made the decision to leave Rocinante wherever we ended up and continue our trip next year.  This process proved to be a bigger deal than I had anticipated... part of the learning experience.  It seems that most, if not all, of the marinas use their parking lots for winter storage.  Obviously, if they start pulling boats out of the water too soon, then they wonīt have space for the cars of those patrons that continue to use their boats later into the fall.  

Anyway, after much deliberation, we opted for number one... we would make landfall in Maine after all!

We prepared to go ashore for the day and called for the launch.  First on our list of "to dos" was getting to the public library to see if I could get on the internet... they had plenty of stations, but they were all taken and a good number of folks were waiting for them to free up... updates would have to wait.

We headed into town to continue our exploration.  In front of the town hall, a tourist trolley caught our eye.  Sounds like a good idea... we would get to sit for a while, get a narrated tour of the town, catch a nice breeze and use up about 45 minutes (just enough to get us back in time for lunch!)  It was actually a nice trip... not great, but definitely nice.  We headed out towards the east end, saw and heard about the original homes floated across the bay to Provincetown by the original settlers, rode through the national park, several sections of town, etc... again, a nice ride.

Back in town, we looked for a place to have lunch... the trolley operator recommended a restaurant directly across the street that yesterday had piqued our interest with a sign hawking mohitos and views of the water... sounds like a plan!

We headed in and were seated at a table with a nice view, ordered our mohitos and sat back to enjoy...
The food wasnīt phenomenal, but it wasnīt bad.  After lunch, we headed out to find the Pilgrim monument... you can see it looming above the town from just about anywhere, but finding the entrance was another story.

We took a bearing on the monument and started heading in the general direction, winding our way through the local streets until we got close enough to find signs pointing the way... all said, fairly easy.

The climb up was fairly easy, a nice combination of steps and ramps wound their way up the inside of the monument.

Link to picture looking up from inside the Pilgrim Monument...

Notice I said "fairly easy" round and round we went, slowly making our way to the top, every other turn, brought a wonderfully cooling breeze coming in off the bay to fend off the building heat.  After what seemed like an eternity, we made it to the top.

I figured some of you would want proof, so here you go...

We were rewarded with beautiful views of the surrounding area and took great delight in spotting what we believe to be Rocinante at her mooring!

As the saying goes, what goes up must come down; so down we went.

Link to picture looking down from inside the Pilgrim Monument...

Iīm sure Iīm starting to leave things out, but we basically spent the day walking around until late afternoon / early evening and then made our way towards the wharf.  Wait a minute, its been at least two or three paragraphs with no mention of food... oh yea, thatīs right, we stopped by a local seafood shop and picked up two lobster dinners to go... somewhat like popping by McDonalds for a happy meal, but much, much better!

Goodies in hand, we boarded our launch ready for our trip back to Rocinante.
The safety of our lobster meals was of the utmost importance, so I boarded Rocinante and took the precious cargo from Maria and headed down below placing them in the galley for safe keeping... yes, yes, Maria made it onboard safely as well.

I can tell you that we have rarely enjoyed a lobster meal more than we did on this particular evening.

We broke out a bottle of champagne, and spread out our dinner on the cockpit table; scrumptious New England style clam chowder, a half dozen steamers and an unbelievably sweet, steamed lobster with drawn butter, corn (no adjectives... it was actually a bit soggy; but hey in all fairness, it had been sitting for a few hours) some steamed red skinned potatoes and finally a cookie!

I think it had a lot to do with the fact that we were aboard our beloved Rocinante... everything seems better when weīre here.

We enjoyed the rest of our evening and drifted off to sleep looking forward to the following dayīs adventure.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 29th 2005 @ 18:57
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Monday August 29, 2005

We awoke to gray skies and a forecast of afternoon thunderstorms... time to re-think our plans.

After a lot of soul searching, we decided we had truly enjoyed the trip thus far and we shouldnīt push our luck.  As I think I had already mentioned, this next leg would be a 60 nautical mile sail about 50 nautical miles off shore... bottom line, no turning back!  At our top speed, under optimum conditions, weīre talking a 10 hour trip... if the weather turned ugly, weīd have no place to hide and a hell of a long haul to make it to a safe harbor.

The weather was already looking iffy and with the forecasted worsening of the weather due to Katrina (little did we know what the true impact of Katrina would be) we decided that even Portsmouth was out of the question and decided to find a marina closer to home.  

We asked around a bit and had several people mention that the marina in East Dennis Massachusetts, was probably most capable of handling our needs.  A couple of quick calls secured us a slip for the next few days, assured us that they would be able to pull Rocinante out of the water early and reserved a car at a "nearby" airport.

This all worked out quite well... we readied ourselves and Rocinante for the trip ahead, cast off our mooring line and said farewell to P-Town!

As we came out from around the protection of the hook, it started... again, nothing awful, just a bit of a chop and a stiff breeze dead on the nose!  It was going to be a long 18nm (nautical miles)

Slowly, but surely, we made progress towards our destination... 5.5 / 6 knots or so our average speed.  Then right on schedule, the chop turned into waves that continued to grow... you know the story... two footers became three footers which became four footers which... actually, they stopped around the four foot range with the occasional 6 footers.  This time however we were heading into them, so it simply slowed us down and showered us with spray... it seemed like we would never get there.

We would be cruising along through the waves at about 4 / 4.5 knots when a series of six footers would hit... weīd climb the first wave... 3.5... 3... slam down into the next and climb the third... 2.5... 2... slamming down into the fourth... 1.8 knots... we thought for sure we were going to start going backwards!  Nevertheless, as surely as each series of waves slowed us down, Rocinante would gather herself and slowly pick up speed again awaiting the next onslaught.

As the day wore on, we lost sight of the only landmark behind us, the Pilgrim Monument, and anxiously looked for signs of land in front of us... a few hours later, we spotted our first of two buoys marking the way to the harbor entrance... within 30-45 minutes, we spotted the dual breakwaters extending out from the mouth of the river... we were almost there.

Once past the breakwater, we made our way up the tiny channel towards the marina and pulled into our assigned slip.  Iīm sure weīll look back on this in the years to come and laugh, but for now, it had been yet another arduous trip...

We cleaned up and you guessed it, headed out for lunch at the marinaīs café... I had the best lobster roll ever... for those of you that are not familiar with this delicacy; it consists of a hotdog roll, lined with lettuce leaves and then piled with lobster salad!  The good ones, and this was by far the best, are almost pure lobster with just a bit of mayo to bind it together... to give you some idea, this one actually had the whole claw nestled in amongst the chunks of tail meat!

Satiated, we headed back to Rocinante to figure out next steps... we filled out the paperwork to have Rocinante hauled and stored for the winter, contacted a local cab company (Johnīs Taxi) for the trip to the airport to pick up the rental, and waited...

Sure enough Johnīs Taxi showed up, driven by no other than John himself with his lovely bride by his side... guess this was a true family business!

$40 and a quick trip to the Hertz counter later, I was on my way back to the marina... oh yea, stopped by Captain Crustyīs (or something like that) and picked up some fried oysters along with fish and chips for dinner. M-M-M! (yummy sounds)

After dinner, we took "Dapple" (yep, we finally named our tender) and headed out to explore...

First, we headed up river... lovely, until we went to far into the reeds and were attacked by vicious hordes of mosquitoes and no-seeums!  We quickly retreated and headed down river towards the breakwaters... we pulled Dapple up on the beach and enjoyed the moonlit sky until... you guessed it mosquitoes again!

We picked up a few stones to add to our "beaches weīve visited" collection and rowed back to Rocinante, were we had yet another lovely dinner of linguine with clam sauce...

We slept well, knowing we had a hard day ahead of us packing our unused provisions for the trip back home.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 30th 2005 @ 19:14
40°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Tuesday August 30, 2005

Sure enough, Tuesday we awoke to pouring rain... we had breakfast and started to deal with the harsh realities of returning to life on land.

First order of business, retrieve the bottles of wine from the cellar and pack them for the trip home... I pulled the cushions from the v-berth, removed the access panels to the locker below and started pulling out bottles waiting to find broken shards amongst those that remained whole (remember all the lifting and slamming down of the waves?) to my surprise, not a single bottle was lost!

Rocinante was in a state of turmoil, her lovely cabin was strewn with "stuff" as we pulled items from their designated spots deep in the bowels of the ship (ok, the various settee lockers) and started to pack them.  For the entire day, every break in the downpours was accompanied by a mad dash across the floating dock and up the gangway hauling our unused provisions to the awaiting SUV... slowly, but surely, we made progress and Rocinante rose up out of the water un-laden of her excess cargo.

Link to pictures of rain drenched East Dennis...

Next was "Dapple"... what a nightmare!
Between Maria and I, we managed to empty the rainwater that collected in our tender and dragged her (I think sheīs a "her") onto the floating dock... we spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing her clean and deflating her in the pouring rain.  When the rains finally subsided, at least for a while, we quickly emptied her again, dried her off as best we could, folded her up, wrapped her in her storage bag, hauled her up on deck and strapped her down for her winter’s nap.

By the time nightfall came, we where exhausted; we had just un-stowed, packed, hauled up a huge incline (low tide meant a 12ft climb from the floating docks up said gangway) and loaded into the SUV several hundred pounds worth of provisions!

We crashed and slept...

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

August 31st 2005 @ 19:17
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Wednesday August 31, 2005

No more rain... while not exactly sunny, it was at least somewhat dry.
Still no internet access, how were we going to find our way home... a quick call to dad and we had directions!

With the rains gone, we went about the task of drying off the canvas and taking it all down to store for the winter... not a simple task, but fairly straight forward.  We packed up the last bunch of items (amazing how much we still had to pack) loaded up the SUV said goodbye to Rocinante and headed off down the highway.

Ignoring the various interruptions, We had been traveling for approximately 14 days... it would now take us 5 hours to get home... it just didnīt seem right!

It was an interesting trip home... we were obviously punch drunk, because we found humor in the most bizarre things.  We quipped about how easy this was; driving along at 75 miles and hour on a road that didn’t move underneath you, following signs that clearly told you where to go and required no interpretation... we wanted no part of it!

As I sit here writing these last few words, I long to be back aboard Rocinante... amazingly enough, so does Maria.  We have both found joy in this new place.  

A place where you have time to read or just sit and look out at the horizon.
A place where lobster dinners and deviled ham on crackers provide similar levels of satisfaction.
A place where you need to be conscious of how much water you use and how much garbage you produce.  
A place where you are responsible for your actions and their repercussions.
A place where you truly appreciate and enjoy the luxury of a hot shower.
A place where you can relish the simple act of being.

In May, Rocinante will once again carry us there.
Until then, weīll do the things we have to do and wait...

Iīll leave you with this butchered quote from the Pirates of the Caribbean:

Not just Maine, luv. The entire ocean. The entire woīld. Wherever we want to go, weīll go. Thatīs what a ship is, you know. Itīs not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, thatīs what a ship needs but what a ship is... what Rocinante really is... is freedom.

Till next time,

Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante..._/)

September 1st 2005 @ 09:19
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Finally have internet access again... Maria and I are back home, Rocinante will be wintering in East Dennis... logs to follow

September 21st 2005 @ 14:46
42°2'30.12 N 70°11'9.96 W

Ship's Log:
Well, thatīs all folks!
The logs for our most recent voyage have all been posted.
Needless to say, thanks for all the great feedback...

BTW, they were logged based on original dates, so look above!

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