Heading South – Take Two (Sunday, October 5, 2014)

IMG_2014Normally we don’t travel on Sundays (our day of rest) but the seas have finally settled down and the winds will help us get around Cape Ann. I bought an MP3 player for the boys and loaded it with audio books from a free online library. They listen to a story and munch grilled cheese sandwiches as we head out. We leave at 7:45 am and charge the batteries and run the ice box while we motor. Once this is done, we put up the sails and are going a good 5-6.5 knots all day. Despite our standard instructions to stare at the horizon, Malachi gets distracted and comes this close to throwing up again. We tell them it’s going to be a long day. Both of them nap a lot or lie in their berths with their eyes closed. Matt says that if we are making good time (which we are), we might just go all night. The boys are in bed by 7 pm and we approach the Cape Cod Canal around 10:30 pm. We take down the sails and are getting battered by the wind. It’s 40 degrees (without wind chill) and the winds are 20-25 knots. “This is our idea of relaxing?” Matt yells to me as he fights to bring the down. The stars are beautiful but it’s a little freaky – there are unlit buoys and other hazards that are difficult to see. I can’t even see the entrance to the Canal – thankfully Matt is navigating.

Because we are close to land, I check my phone. I text Matt’s mom our float plan prior to each departure and, because I had told her we’d be in around 8 pm, there are texts and voicemails asking if we are ok. This is comforting because, if it were my mom, we’d be missing for weeks before she’d remember her job. And even then, she’d probably wave her hand dismissively and say, “I’m sure they’re fine …” We have service so I text Carole to say we’re going all night. We motor through the Canal and out into Buzzard’s Bay around midnight. I sleep from 12:30 to 3 am and then go up on watch. I hear Matt pulling up a floorboard to check the bilge. IHe comes up and informs me the bilge was full and almost overflowing into the cabin. He thought we were taking on water but, being quick of mind, stuck his finger in to taste if it was salt or fresh water. It was fresh so it was obviously a leak in our water system and not outside water. I’m not sure I would have been so calm. In fact, I’m quite certain I would have grabbed my chocolate stash, jumped into the life raft and yelled ‘good luck’ as I leapt over the side of the boat. Matt runs the bilge pump to empty all the water and keep us safe. At 5 am, we anchor in South Dartmouth Cove of Appanogansett Bay, MA. It’s lovely to get a little sleep before the boys wake up at 7 am. They come in our berth and are thrilled to hear they can watch a movie, with headphones I add. After a late breakfast, we motor an hour further south to Fairhaven Shipyard near New Bedford, MA. This is where we will make final preparations to Tashtego for the passage to the Caribbean. After 15 months on the boat, we are finally getting closer to what we dreamed of doing.