It was a weekend of windy contrasts. We had hoped to sail to Montauk this past weekend, but we had no intention of heading there if it was going to be a motor fest so our backup plan was to go to the Wooden Boat Show at Mystic Seaport.
After a great night’s sleep on the boat, I woke up first on Saturday morning and immediately checked the weather. When Jeff woke up he asked what the plan was. “We’re going to the Wooden Boat Show.” Even though it was sunny, warm, and beautiful, Saturday’s forecast was for 5 knots of wind, and Sunday wasn’t looking much better at the moment. No worries. We’re still on the boat!
After getting back from the boat show we decided to take Pegu Club out to see just how little wind we need to get her moving. Pegu Club came with a large furling genoa which is not bad for light winds, although we are planning to get a drifter before we head out which will be even better.
We motored out of the harbor, unfurled the headsail, and cut the engine. Glancing at red bell #2 to our port side, the wind was blowing 5 knots. We waited. We waited some more. A few minutes later, red bell #2 was still just about the in the same spot. But then the wind increased to six knots, and we started moving! .1 knot of speed. Then .2 knots. Red bell #2 slowly started moving behind us. This was not exactly white-knuckle sailing, but we were having fun. It was a beautiful day and we ghosted along. After awhile we got lucky and the wind began to blow a steady 7-8 knots, so we continued to scoot along until we decided we’d had enough and went back in. It hadn’t been much, but we had learned a bit more about our boat which was important.
Saturday evening we checked the next day’s forecast. It looked like it would start off light but then start to fill in on Sunday afternoon. This wasn’t a bad thing because we needed to do a few boat chores – primarily, replacing the foot pump in our galley sink.
After we had finished doing dishes from Saturday’s lunch, I had seen some water on the floor. We didn’t have a large enough towel to set the dishes on, so I thought it had simply spilled over a bit. I wiped it up and didn’t think about it again until a few hours later when I noticed water in the same spot. A closer inspection revealed that the foot pump was broken and water was weeping out. Given that it was likely original to the boat, this wasn’t a big surprise. Looks like a Sunday morning trip to Defender was in order!
We woke up to some lovely boat t.v. with a long line of geese paddling off to somewhere.
Breakfast in the cockpit followed, and then we were off to Defender to buy a foot pump and hinges. We have several hinges that are broken, so we finally took a count and decided to fix them once and for all.
While Jeff installed the pump and I replaced the broken hinges, I asked him if he thought the water flow might be better. I always thought it was odd that the water in the galley sink would spurt out and occasionally splash the user. I didn’t think it was a big deal (and was glad that we will eventually be in year-round warmth so that the splashing would be refreshing rather than annoying), and we had never used a foot pump before so I thought that was just the way it was supposed to be. My question was answered shortly thereafter when the new pump revealed a smooth, steady flow of water. Well that was much better! It looks like it had been broken for a while. Who knew?
Projects completed, the wind started to fill in right on schedule so we headed out for a sail. And what a sail it turned out to be! I would say it was the best one of the season so far – overall even better than our sail to Block Island.
The south winds were a steady 14 knots and Pegu Club was flying along at hull speed. We took a left out of Pine Island bay and tacked at the appropriate time so that we had a straight shot into Long Island Sound while steering well-clear of Black Ledge. We bombed around in the Sound, and we even managed to trim both of the sails properly so that she was essentially steering herself. I think we might be getting the hang of this whole sailing thing instead of looking like a couple of hacks! It really was a fantastic sail, and once again I daydreamed about the day we would just keep on going. In the meantime though, reality awaited so we reluctantly headed back to the mooring.
That night I couldn’t get to sleep. I had that same endorphin rush that I used to get when I would go for a long, hard bike ride. It truly had been one hell of a sail!
Next up: a three day weekend and then vacation!