I’m always amazed by human perception. I consider myself to be passably conscious and observant of my surroundings, but it’s funny how things just sneak up on you.
Our last night in Lake Wesley was interrupted by a fancy police boat. My first thought was uh oh we are going to get thrown out of here, and then I remember the huge tent they’d erected on the corner of Rudee Inlet and Lake Wesley. I think it was a Romney event, it is Virginia, after all, so extra security goes with the gig.
There were some kids in a pontoon boat diving and swimming, anchored just off our bow. The policeman made them leave. He waved politely as he left. Ah, peace and quiet for our last night before the slog up north.
In the morning the EPA shows up in their fancy boat, and says,”sorry for the smell.” I said that it must be some kind of fish kill and it smells like it’s getting worse. He said, “Nope, it’s a main sewer break dumping everything into the lake.”
You know it did look kind of thick and brown. When we’d first arrived it was pristine, so that’s a lot of sewage. Come to think of it I had a mouthful when I did a last minute check of the speedo. It has a trap door which is supposed to spring closed when you pull it out. It’s amazing how much “water” geysers out of a 1 1/2 inch hole in the bottom of a boat. Of course I wasn’t ready with the plug because there’s no rush with the spring loaded trap door thingie. It didn’t taste very good.
The Honda refused to start so I had to row through the cesspool, about a mile against a stiff tide to get water and fill up some jerry fuel jugs, just in case. Not an auspicious start. The good news was that our completely remanufactured autopilot ram would be doing the steering. I was glad to get out of this stinking, rotting place anyway. I tried not to take it personally.
I was concerned about fuel so we stopped at OC Inlet to take on fuel and water. The kid working the fuel dock said, “That is one sick catamaran.” If he only knew.
36 hours of bliss later the first error message showed up on the autopilot screen. “Trip”. We knew it was the precursor to many more. It was. This time we were 110 miles from meaningful rest and no decent stopovers on Long Island, no AP and getting dicey with fuel again. Where does it go? We set sail and actually sailed Escape Velocity, making very good time and saving fuel at the same time, but It will mean a nighttime take down if the predicted storm finds us. Big drama on the VHF weather due to the coming storm. Storm of the century ect. It’s time to take down the sails. What an eerie scene, blackness all around except the strobing effect of hundreds of lightening strikes, millions of stars overhead, and the foredeck light bathing the deck in bright white light. We decide to head out away from land into the Atlantic because the storm looks like its heading up the coast and if caught in shallow water of the sound the waves can be treacherous. We’ve already tried that one.
We waited and slowly putted our way out into the briny deep. What a display of lightning! Truly amazing. After a while I noticed on the radar that the storm was coming out to sea after us. We turned around and headed back towards Montauk. Ever the artful dodger.
We dropped anchor at Point Judith,
Harbor of Refuge about noon.