Well, our exuberance didn’t last. By the third day of our too-long journey to New England the autopilot crapped out again. And we were enjoying it so much! Now we’re faced with another 100 miles of ocean between us and a place to drop the anchor, and all the while we’ll have to hand steer on short watches. No more scanning the horizon then going below for a snack or a bathroom break. No more long and restful sleep. Nope. It’ll be an hour or two at a time, back and forth, until we reach Rhode Island. Rats! We are clueless as to why this thing doesn’t work, especially after getting the ram completely rebuilt. We’ve consulted (and paid) four professionals, certified factory technicians even, and here we are hand steering.
The only good news is that the wind finally filled in and we were able to raise the sails and turn off the engines for a while. The weather report says the wind will die later this evening but we’re enjoying the break from the engine noise and also gaining a little speed. Yes, we can sail faster in these winds than we can motor.
We’re just now starting to cross the last of the NYC shipping lanes but we haven’t seen a ship since last evening. We’ll be alert for subs off Montauk, though.