As we drove down to Shenny on Friday, July 8th we were psyched. We were finally taking Pegu Club on vacation for 11 days! Traditionally we take vacation after Labor Day when school is back in session and everything is much quieter. Work changes meant that wouldn’t be possible this year, however, so a vacation in July was going to be something new for us.
The initial plan was to sail Pegu Club to Martha’s Vineyard, but since I really don’t like going to crowded places we decided Martha’s in July wasn’t such a great idea. We decided instead that we would go wherever the wind blew us. The hope was to get a lot of sailing in so we could continue to get comfortable with Pegu Club. The only firm plans we had were for the first weekend, when we were going to Stonington with two other couples from Shenny.
Saturday arrived with cloudy skies and winds on the nose. SV Thistle, SV Infinity, and SV Pegu Club set out for what turned out to be the longest eleven mile sail to Stonington in nautical history. We tacked and tacked and tacked. At one point we didn’t think we’d ever get past R-20, the red can which is basically at the halfway point, but eventually – four hours later – we found ourselves moored near each other at Dodson’s.
This was our first group outing, and we had a great time. SV Infinity were new sailors having just started last season, so this was their first night away from Shenny. We all enjoyed walking around Stonington, pre-dinner snacks on SV Thistle, and dinner at the Dog Watch. Fun stories were shared, along with lots of laughter.
We knew that Sunday was going to be a zero-wind day, so while Infinity and Thistle headed back to Shenny, Jeff and I spent an extra night at our home-away-from-our-Shenny home, Dodson’s. We had an enjoyable walk to The Velvet Mill, which is an old velvet manufacturing factory which now houses artists and craftsmen with open studios. There was some excellent live music playing Sunday afternoon, and we wandered around, eventually buying some delicious cheese, bread, and pastries to take back to Pegu Club.
Wrapping up the day with Bomster scallops and stuffies for dinner, we knew that Monday was going to have very light winds but we needed to move on.
With better winds in the forecast for Tuesday, our initial plan was to ghost over to East Harbor on Monday morning and anchor out. East Harbor is located on Fishers Island, and we had never been there. The light winds lasted a bit longer than anticipated, however, so we ended up ghosting a bit farther to West Harbor where we had the anchorage to ourselves.
Anchoring was going smoothly until I backed down on the anchor with Thumper in reverse. Suddenly I heard a loud crunch. I immediately knew what it was and quickly moved the shifter to neutral, but the engine shut off before I could shift. Pegu-teeny’s dinghy painter had been sucked into the propeller. This was our first time anchoring in Pegu Club with a dinghy behind us, and neither Jeff nor I had thought about that possibility.
I was VERY upset. Here we were at the beginning of our vacation – Jeff’s first real vacation in almost two years – and I was afraid we may have damaged the engine out of stupidity. I had visions of needing to get towed back to Shenny, hauling Pegu Club out of the water, and spending the rest of the week landlocked.
Fortunately, Jeff was able to climb into Pegu-teeny and he spent an hour carefully cutting away her painter and untangling the line while I used the boat hook to keep him from bumping the hull. Everything seemed to be moving smoothly and the engine wasn’t making any strange noises, so we decided that we had dodged a bullet. We used a bowline to reconnect the painter and agreed to continue on with our vacation plans. From this point forward though, I insisted that I was going to bring Pegu-teeny up to the side of the boat before backing down on the anchor.
After that adventure the rest of the afternoon was quite peaceful, with some very cool cloud patterns in the sky that we hadn’t seen before.
All was lovely right up until the point when a boat motored into the anchorage and decided to drop anchor next to us. Really? You have a completely empty anchorage to choose from and you decide to plop yourselves right by us? Geez.
As we enjoyed a lovely sunset over West Harbor, we made our plans for the next day. After the few days of light winds we had been experiencing, the rest of the week looked good. We decided that we would head out to Newport and then move on to Cuttyhunk where we were hoping to meet up with our cruising friends on SV Minx. This was shaping up to be a great vacation!