Thursday, September 25, 2014

Over night in Cuttyhunk

First I just wanted to apologize for not updating this more often. With 4 active kids there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. The summer went by way to quick and the kids are all back in school. Well all but the baby.

We were finally able to get a sitter for all 4 kids for an over night so Dave and I could sail to Cuttyhunk. During the weekend before, we had gotten a new motor, so we knew we wouldn't have any of the issues we have had in the past regarding that. And with small trips here and there during the summer, we felt we were in a better position and had more knowledge and I'm happy to say, we made it there with no issues. YAY! The wind was really good. But I do have to be honest, I REALLY hate when the boat lists and wets the
rail, but that is another post all together.  You can't really tell in the pics, but we were wetting the rail and Dave was loving it. Me, not so much.

We knew we were at the end of the season for going to Cuttyhunk, and knew it would be pretty
deserted, but we hadn't expected it to be as quiet as it was. Nothing seemed to be open. The country store was only open for like 15 min after we got there, and all the restaurants had been closed for the season. We did find the market open, for about 10 more min. and the lady there told us, pretty much our only option for food was the raw bar.

Oh great, the only food around was seafood and I don't like seafood at all. Never did. But I was starving, so I had to "choke" it down. Since I don't like seafood, I let Dave order for me. He got us some stuffed quohogs, shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, and some seafood dip stuff that you put on crackers. I do have to be honest though, the clam chowder was pretty good. Dave loves sea food so it didn't matter much to him, although I think he felt pretty bad there were no other options. Oh well, no big deal, it is what it is, and I wasn't
going to starve. We did have snacks in the boat, and if not we could have gotten some at the market while we were there.

Cuttyhunk itself was pretty cool. Pretty much no cars, and was very quiet. We walked around some and stopped at the military lookout, which I guess is the tallest point on the island. We loved that no matter where you looked, was water all around.

After we ate we paddled back to the Wanderlust. Seemed like we paddled and paddled for more than
a mile. Oh wait... I should say, it seemed like Dave paddled his butt off to get back. We got back and we were wanting to do some fishing. So once we got settled back in the boat and got the fishing gear out, we casted out a couple times and it started raining. So in the cabin we went.

Seemed like once we settled in bed, it started to pour and rain much harder. Something we had never noticed before because we were never in the boat while it was raining, we had a leak in the hatch that we need to take care of. Right on my legs all night. So not only did I HAVE to eat seafood, which I don't like, but I was getting dripped on most of the night.  But, believe it or not, it really wasn't that bad and of course I would do it again.

Being our first night ever sleeping in a boat, neither of us got much sleep. Worried about the ropes
would come lose, which they of course didn't. Wondered what every noise we heard was. From the halyard banging against the mast, the anchor banging against the boat. And at times it even sounded like someone was walking around on the deck and in the cockpit, but no one was there when we would check. And a bunch of noises we couldn't quite identify. Also during the night it did get pretty rough and was very windy and cold by morning with rough surf.

We listened to the weather on the radio, before we headed out for the return trip, and we learned that there was a small craft advisory with pretty strong wind and 3-5 ft surf. We waited it out for a little while, hoping for it to calm down some. But we did have to be back by a certain time to pick up
our kids, as the sitter had things to do that day. So now we were getting concerned, both because of the small craft advisory and for not making it back in time to get our kids. So we made some phone calls to ensure our kids were taken care of until we do finally get home. We did see some other sailboats that were bigger than us, head out, so we decided we would head out as well....

Was that the right decision? It was VERY rough, and it did take us a while to make it back. But I think it proved to both Dave and I that we have come a long way this season. From knowing nothing at all about sailing, to making this overnight trip to Cuttyhunk and back. Although the season isn't completely over quite yet, we are slowing down, due to other obligations, and because school has started, but next year will be so much more fun.

Here are some more pics from our trip:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jones Park - Clarks Cove

For yesterdays "adventure" we tried for something a little closer than Kettle Cove. We went to Jones Park, which is in Clarks Cove, Dartmouth, MA. And as usual it was quite an adventure. We motored to the hurricane barrier then put up the sails and shut off the motor. The wind was light, but not to bad. I even fished while we were sailing :)

It wouldn't be a day of sailing for us newbies if something didn't go wrong for us. Although I welcome these "mistakes/mishaps" now while we are still learning, I do wish we could have smooth sailing one of these days. Anyway, we made it to Jones Park with no problems, and not needing the motor. YAY!

We got closer to the beach and this is the first "real" time dropping anchor. Guess we need a little work and practice. Dave tried a few times to get the anchor to set, and finally he thought it was set. We watched for a bit and we didn't seem to be drifting. So he took the 3 older kids in the dinghy and rowed to the beach. I stayed on the boat with the baby and tried to get her to nap, and then the plan was, for me to do some fishing while she napped and the other kids and Dave played on the beach.

I went down below and tried to get Autumn to sleep. I looked up at the cockpit and noticed a moored boat. We were NEAR a mooring field but I shouldn't have been able to see it from the cabin. So I left the baby in the V-berth and went out to look. We were in fact drifting to shallower water. Oh great. Dave is the one that usually got the motor running and the sails up. Once the sails are up, I know how to sail the boat. Uh-Oh!! Here I am alone on the boat with the baby and have no clue how to start the motor or lift the sails...

I tried to call Dave on his cell only to hear it ringing in the cabin. Oh great! Look at the depth meter and its
going back and forth from 7 to 8. Where we originally anchored it was going between 9 and 10. I felt I HAD to do something so we don't run aground but what? I figured I can start the lawn mower with no problem, so how hard could it be to start this motor? It took me a while but I finally figured out how to take the cover off the motor so I could get to the choke. I pulled and pulled but no luck. I couldn't get it started. And we are still drifting. I ended up pulling the handle thing off the rope. (You know the black "T" thing that you hold to pull) The motor sits lower than the boat, so I was needing to pull up and out, which was fraying the rope and it broke... Good thing we also had a knot tied in the rope so if that happened it wouldn't go all the way back in. So I continued to try to pull it using the knot. I couldn't get it started. So I figured, there was a little
bit of wind, maybe it would help if I raised the sail.

As I was getting out in front to try to put up the mainsail, I saw Dave and the kids rowing from the beach. It was a much further distance for him to row to get to me. He was still a ways off so I continued to try to raise the mainsail. Wouldn't you know it. I grabbed the wrong rope and when I unwound it from the cleat, the boom dropped lower. Uh-oh!. To say I was frustrated wouldn't even come close at this point.

Dave got the kids in the boat, and 1 pull of the motor and it started. GRRRRR! Dave motored us to deeper water while I double tied the dinghy to the boat. Then he went up get the boom back to where it needed to be.

Guess I need to push him hard to get a motor with an electric start so I can get it started a lot easier. And I need to also learn how to raise the sail just incase we are in a similar situation. I felt so helpless that nothing I was doing was working. I was actually starting the motor correctly, I just wasn't "strong" enough to pull it as hard as I needed to. And the sail, well there is no excuse for me not
knowing how to lift it.

All that set aside, it really wasn't a bad day. Sailing wise, we did well, and the kids are starting to enjoy it a lot more too.

Once we got back to the mooring, Dave steered us in, and I "hooked" the mooring rope. That is a switch up because usually I steer it in and Dave hooks it, but I want to learn how to do everything because ya never know when I will be in a position that I will HAVE to do it.

Dave rowed Holly, the baby, and I in the dinghy and unloaded our stuff and went back for the other 2 kids. Holly helped me get our stuff and the baby to the car and we loaded up and waited for the others to join us. I guess I missed more adventure. Apparently he had given the dinghy rope to his first mate Amber to hold on to while he locked up and secured the boat. Amber mistakenly dropped the rope and the dinghy drifted off with the current. Dave had to jump in and the more he swam, the more the current took the dinghy. He did finally get to the dinghy and got himself up in it. And rowed to the wanderlust to get Amber and Peter. And
rowed back to the dock to unload the kids and secure the dinghy to the docks.

Captain Dave got his work out, between all the rowing he had to do, and the swimming he had to do. This morning he was quite sore. I'm guessing by the end of summer, we will all be in better shape.

Here is a "documentary" video Amber made:

Here are some more pics we took:

Miss Autumn is stomping her foot and telling me NO because I wouldn't let her out in the cock pit. She wouldn't put her life jacket on so I wouldn't let her out of the cabin.

Butler Flats Light house

Fort Tabor

Holly out front on the pulpit while tied to the mooring

Amber when we got home, posing for the camera

Autumn in the V-Berth because she absolutely wouldn't let me put the life jacket on her so she stayed down below.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kettle Cove - kind of

Well we planned our first "real" adventure, now that we have the sails up. We had planned to go to Kettle Cove, which is part of the Naushon Island, one of the Elisabeth Islands. The kids were all excited at the thought of anchoring at Kettle Cove and rowing to the "deserted island" to explore and have a picnic lunch.

Dave and I planned out the trip the night before, got the co-ordinates to the cove, looked at images so we knew exactly what we were looking for when we got there. We even checked out some websites for wind
conditions. Most of the sites had the same "prediction" about 10 knots with 14 knot gusts. So we planned our timing with those numbers in mind.

What we learned was that those predictions were NOT always correct. The wind speed was much slower the majority of the time. We were able to go most of the way without any real trouble. But when were were about 2 miles from the cove, the wind seemed to have completely
died down to just about nothing, and we were stuck in the irons. There were a couple other sail boats that were facing the same issue.

Since it was slow going and took us so long to sail the 12 or 13 miles to Kettle Cove, it was frustrating to see the time 3:00pm when we were only 2 miles away from our destination. But we still had the same slow wind, even slower as the wind direction was not in our favor either, to head back. So Captain Dave decided to turn around and head back to Popes Island. The kids were a little disappointed but understood. And next time we will pick a closer destination.

Here are some shots from the trip:

Cpt and 1st mate
Middle of Nowhere
Peter in the V Berth

Amber dancing in the Cabin

Autumn wanting more cookies

Rocked to sleep by the waves