Yesterday was a sad day – the marina e-mailed to tell us that Pegu Club is out of the water for the season. The only good thing about it is that I don’t have to check the hurricane forecast any more.
The last few weeks of our season was a bit of a disappointment. After we spent the weekend in Rochester I took Monday off and we headed down to the boat. The winds were scheduled to be frisky – approximately 15-18 mph – but after all of the windy experience we gained on our vacation we weren’t concerned. It’s funny. At the beginning of the season 10 mph made us apprehensive. 🙂 There’s no doubt that we’ve gained a lot of confidence during this season.
When we got to the marina Jeff noted that there were an awful lot of whitecaps out on the Sound, but we decided to head out and simply turn around if necessary. As we were getting ready to cast off the line Tom and Carolyn (from the O’Day that I went on earlier in the summer) arrived at their boat to go for a sail. We exchanged hellos and started motoring out, waving at Sheldon and Nancy (fellow sailors on a nearby mooring) as we went by. They were hanging out in their cockpit, relaxing.
As we neared the entrance to the Sound and began leaving the protection of our cove, the waves started picking up. A lot. As we kept going it was getting more and more “entertaining.” They were approximately 2-3 feet, right on the nose, and around 2.5 seconds apart. It wasn’t the height that was the problem – it was the set. If they had been 5 or 6 seconds apart it would have been fine. Instead we started bobbing up and down, the outboard cavitating regularly, and between the cavitation and the wind the boat started getting shoved towards the lee shore (and the rocks). Jeff and I quickly agreed that it was time to “Run away!” in the words of Monty Python, so I turned the throttle up hard and we were able to turn around and motor back. We passed Sheldon and Nancy who waved, grinning widely, and motioned for us to come over for drinks once we had the boat squared away. Tom and Carolyn were still at their mooring when we returned – I think they were waiting to see if we high-tailed it back or not – and we gave them a report. They wisely decided to stay on the mooring and do boat projects instead.
When we arrived at Sheldon and Nancy’s boat, Sheldon said that the wind had been blowing 20+ all weekend. Ahhh – that explained it. We’ve discovered that when the conditions are like that for a few days, it takes a day or so for the Sound to settle down. Sheldon said that as they watched us motor out they looked at each other and said, “They’ll be back.” Honestly, if we had known that it had been so windy all weekend we likely wouldn’t have bothered going down to the marina on Monday at all, but then we would have missed having a lovely visit hanging out with Sheldon and Nancy and getting better acquainted. Any time on any boat is a good time, even if we aren’t sailing.
The following weekend Dad and Nikki were in town. We had all been looking forward to going for a sail together, but Saturday was rainy on the shoreline. A check of Sunday’s forecast showed that the north wind that had been steadily blowing for a few days was going to clock around, which meant that it was going to die for several hours as is typical. Unfortunately, it was going to die during the afternoon when it would be “warmer” (mid-50’s). Morning temperatures were going to be in the low 40’s, and while Dad and Nikki were troupers in being game for temperatures in the 50’s, the 40’s were pushing it. So no sailing. The four of us ended up in Boston instead, where we took a Duck tour, so we ended up spending some time on the water after all!
The weekend after Dad and Nikki’s visit was our last chance for a sail. But once again, mother nature wouldn’t cooperate. Saturday had wind in the 20’s and Sunday had equally high wind combined with a small craft advisory. You know what that meant for Monday – whitecaps and 2 second sets for the waves. So Monday was a no go. We ended up down at the marina taking down the sails and the boom so the yard guys could haul her, and although we weren’t sailing it was still nice to spend one last day on the water. We even saw a submarine coming back into New London! This was our second submarine sighting of the season, and I was just as excited the second time around.
Eventually it was time to say goodbye to Pegu Club as we motored away on the dink, but I told her not to worry – we would see her next weekend on the hard. As Jeff says, the sailing season has come to an end, but the working on the boat season is just beginning!