The week leading up to Friday, July 21st was hot and humid. Not that I was complaining about it. I may comment on the heat and humidity, but I’ll never complain because it beats the heck out of winter any day! Although it was a bit more mild on the water as compared to West Hartford, being on the dock didn’t offer much relief so the plan was to get the heck out of dodge.
Saturday the 22nd was a hot, humid, and windless day, but West Harbor on Fishers Island is always the perfect fallback in these situations. We can motor there in under an hour. Even I – the woman who hates motoring – can tolerate that, so that’s how we found ourselves dropping the hook for our first overnight anchor of the season.
It took us a while to find a spot in the anchorage that I was comfortable with. My inexperience with anchoring shows because I don’t yet have a good sense of how close I can get to other boats without being too close. I also have lousy depth perception which doesn’t help. As far as I’m concerned being ¼ mile away feels too close, which is utterly ridiculous of course. This is definitely something I need to work on. We circled for a while with Jeff at the bow until he finally hollered back, “Where are you going??? There’s plenty of room!!!” I’m sure I was inspiring a ton of confidence in the other boaters that were already there. Ah well. Finally we picked a spot, set the hook, and stayed put all night – always a good thing!
I may not be comfortable finding a spot when there are other boats, but I AM getting more comfortable simply being on the anchor (good thing, given that we’ll be almost exclusively at anchor when we finally cut the dock lines). Once I’m certain that we aren’t going anywhere, I absolutely love it. There’s such a sense of freedom when we’re swinging on the anchor, and it doesn’t cost any money which is an added bonus!
While Saturday was sunny, hot, and windless, Sunday was cloudy, breezy, and cool enough that we were sailing in long sleeves and a fleece. Freakin’ New England. At least we were sailing and not motoring, though. We decided to take the long way back to the marina, sailing aimlessly for several hours before having an “entertaining” time getting back into the slip. No damage was done, however – the definition of a successful docking!
Saturday, July 29th was another day with no wind (I’m not liking this pattern), but it wasn’t as hot so we decided to stay on the dock and keep chipping away at our electrical project. Pegu Club has an original fuse panel and the typical rats nest of old wiring, and we’d like to get everything cleaned up and replaced before we leave. Given that we know virtually nothing about electrical work, this is no easy task for us. We have the standard Nigel Calder and Don Casey books which are good, but we really need something geared towards the reader who knows ZERO about it.
Fortunately we have made some friends at Shenny who have a lot of experience with this particular topic, so after spinning our wheels for a while we called one of them up. Tom came over, gave us some suggestions, confirmed we were on the right track, and steered us away from some future mistakes. We still have a lot of planning to do before we can get started, but we were able to make some progress.
The next day we kept working on the schematics for our future electrical system, and then we went for a sail in the afternoon on some fellow Shenny member’s boats who needed a few extra hands. At 36 feet it was the largest boat either of us had sailed on, and it was our first time sailing on a boat with a bimini (it’s a cover that helps keep the sun off of you when you’re in the cockpit). We’ve been planning on making a bimini this winter, and after sailing with one I can definitely say that I’m looking forward to that improvement for next year’s sailing season!
It was a very pleasant afternoon out on the water, but I walked away preferring the responsiveness of our smaller 29.9’ Pegu Club. It’s a good thing, given that a bigger boat isn’t in the cards!