First we were waiting for our rebuilt autopilot ram to reach us, then we had to wait for some bad weather to pass. Finally this morning we decided that although the conditions aren’t perfect it’s time to raise our well-planted anchor and blow this pop stand.
As usual, it became a comedy of errors. We decided at the last minute that we should get some water and diesel before leaving. Back into the dinghy went the diesel cans and the water carriers. Down went the dinghy. And did it start? Hell, no! It’s obviously not getting fuel, and as Jack keeps reminding me, he’s not a mechanic so we couldn’t really get to the bottom of it on our own. But we needed the water and diesel so he rowed away toward the inlet and I think I could see the steam coming out his ears.
Meanwhile I set about getting Escape Velocity shipshape, doing the dishes, stowing any loose items and generally getting ready for a couple of days at sea. I put our inflatable life vests and tethers in a bin by the door; Jack had rigged the jacklines yesterday. The whole time I listened to the weather radio to confirm it was safe out there and that we’d get to our destination. We would, but we’d have to motor much of the way. Ugh. It was either that or wait upwards of another week. No way.
Jack made it back in one piece and we stowed the diesel cans and poured the water into the tank. Don’t ask me why we didn’t pour the diesel in because later when we realized we really would have to motor for two days, we knew we’d need more fuel.
Jack decided at the last minute to clean the speedo under the boat. I learned this when I heard water gushing into the starboard head.
“It never did that before!” he said. Apparently there’s a spring-loaded door that’s supposed to snap shut when he pulls the speedo but it didn’t happen this time and we had a geyser in the floor. He got that back in and I cleaned up the flood. It made me appreciate the design of this boat all the more, with the perfectly placed bulkheads keeping the water contained in the head where it can’t do any damage. Whew! Ok, now I’m awake.
The anchor came up with a lot of effort and covered in black gooey mud, and there were mussels on the anchor bridle. It took a long time to clean up the mess on the foredeck.
As always, as we were heading out the inlet and through the breakers Izzy started to cry. I brushed her for a while, which always calms her down, and once we were on course things leveled out and she parked herself in the cockpit well and went to sleep.
The good news is that our autopilot is working beautifully. What a difference it makes not to have to steer all the time! We really wish we were sailing, but the winds are flukey and 5 knots or less so motoring it is.
We’re trying our Swedish watch system, where the day is divided into two 6-hour watches and the night is three 4-hour watches. Less time on night watch and a long sleep period during the day when it’s easier for the watch keeper to see what’s going on.
I’m about to go off watch. Jack’s having a sandwich and we’re keeping an eye on a cargo ship to our right.