Monday, September 23, 2013
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Or, to a boat owner, every problem requires a complex solution. Matt is getting really efficient at taking things apart and fixing them. We have had a long string of these taking-apart-and-fixing episodes. So much so that when the running lights stopped working at the start of our overnight passage from NY to Cape May (NJ), Matt had the electrical switch panel cover taken out and had tested all the connections in less than 15 minutes. When nothing got the lights running again, and just before he brought out the snips to cut all the zip ties holding the wiring bundles together, he finally stepped back, thought for a second and realized that there was a separate breaker for the running lights that was off for some reason. After turning the breaker on, the lights started working. To be fair, while he was in the guts of the wiring he did find a loose connection, which could have been the original cause of the breaker tripping.
The trip through New York down the East River was memorable. We were shooed away from getting too close to the UN building, we passed under some of the most iconic bridges in the country, and we passed just under the gaze of the Statue of Liberty. Strangely, although we have done a few crossings in the "open ocean," some of the worst seas we have been in so far have been in rivers. The East River in NYC wasn't as bad as the Cape Fear River for us but the waves from one wake knocked over a bunch of things that have never fallen before, including an aloe plant wedged into a corner.
We blazed a trail to Cape May with strong following winds that eventually sped us to an average of 10 to 12 knots with a reef in both the mainsail and the jib. At one point in the middle of the night as we were surfing down a steep wave, Matt saw over 14 knots and the face of fear (well, there was at least a quick prayer to the autopilot gods). Just as we were leaving the city and passing Sandy Hook, a boat called us on the VHF and wanted to "buddy" with us to Cape May. They stayed mostly even until we were able to turn the corner at Atlantic City then we left them in the dust. We can really move when there is good wind. We got into Cape May at around 7:30 a.m., which was about 5 hours sooner than we had projected.
With the wind and chill, we were pretty cold overnight. It helped keep us awake but was pretty uncomfortable. It's time to dig out some warmer clothes. And it's time to head south. But after a nap and some chocolate chip pancakes and bacon, we're as good as new.
The anchorage at Cape May is much more crowded than when we were headed north. It looks like we're part of the big boat migration south. We will probably cocoon on the boat today. Tomorrow we'll catch the tide up the Delaware Bay and head through the C&D canal.