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The First Months

November 22nd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments


Destiny Prepares to Leave from Dolpin YC Dock

Destiny Prepares to Leave from Dolpin YC Dock

Destiny sailed out of Marblehead Harbor on August 14, 2008 as the EYC cannon announced colors. We were seen off by long time friend, Dudley Welch, who rowed out to say fair winds.


The sky was gray, but quickly turned sunny as we approached Minot Light off Scituate Harbor enroute to Onset Harbor at the Buzzards Bay end of the Cape Cod Canal. By the time we reached Onset Harbor we were treated to a beautiful sunset, the first of many to come.

Final view of Marblehead Light

Final view of Marblehead Light

We arrived in Nantucket for Opera House Cup weekend from August 15th to 18th and enjoyed dinner and sailing with friends and watching the race.

John & Joan on Destiny

John & Joan on Destiny

Nantucket Farewell Dinner

Nantucket Farewell Dinner

Opera House Cup 2008

Opera House Cup 2008

Next we were off to New Bedford on August 18th for some refrigeration work and to have the new windlass installed. One thing you can count on is something breaking, and as Kent says “Boat stands for bring out another thousand.”

We left New Bedford on August 20th enroute to Block Island but the wind was on our nose and in keeping with our “go where the wind blows” philosophy we changed course for Stonington, CT and had a glorious, but long day making 7 kts. under sail most of the way.

Stonington, CT

Stonington, CT

Over the following two weeks we worked our way down Long Island Sound mostly motor sailing between the CT and NY shores due to strong currents and either no wind or unfavorable wind direction. We alternated long and short sailing days. From Stonington, CT we sailed just a couple of hours to our next port. We moored at Noank Village Boat Yard on August 21st and took a short dinghy ride up river to Mystic Seaport. While there we met Jorge and Isabel on an Amel 53 “Excalibur” who will be joining us on the Caribbean 1500 Rally.


The next day we crossed Long Island Sound (totally flat and with the current) through Plum Gut to an anchorage in Coecles Harbor on the west side of Shelter Island. We bicycled across the island to Deering Harbor and reprovisioned along the way. Jolie had her first onboard bath.

Over the next several days we made overnight stops at Branford, CT, Milford, CT (anchored off Charles Island), the Sagamore Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, N.Y., Byram, CT (anchored off Calf Island). We arrived in Manhasset, N.Y. on August 27th which was our last stop before NYC and spent a lay day resting and provisioning (although the two are mutually exclusive.) Our “provisioning expedition” included taking the dinghy up a creek, beaching it and walking to the nearby supermarket. We looked like a couple of homeless people pushing our cart full of groceries across the parking lot and busy highway to unload it on to the dinghy. Living on board has its challenges and grocery shopping and laundry are two.

On August 29th we left Manhasset early in the morning for one of the most exciting days so far which was motor sailing through Hell’s Gate where the East River meets Long Island Sound. Sailing up the East River, past the United Nations and arriving at the Hudson River with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island off the bow was a breath taking experience.

The Manhattan skyline is so different from the water, and we had a magical nighttime view of the city from our slip at the Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club in Weehawken, N. J. directly across the Hudson River from the Empire State Building.

We spent Labor Day Weekend with Kent’s family and celebrated our fifth anniversary on August 31st with a motor sail through NY Harbor. It was a glorious, sunny day.

On Labor Day, as family dispersed, we left Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club mid-day and sailed out the Hudson River, under the Verrazanno Bridge to Sandy Point, N.Y. where we anchored in Horseshoe Cove and belatedly celebrated our anniversary with a late afternoon swim and champagne.

From there we sailed down the Jersey coast, most notable for miles of sandy beach punctuated by water towers that marked the various shore towns. Our travels took us from Sandy Hook to Manasquan, N.J. and then to Atlantic City where Kent’s sister, Susie and her husband Richard joined us overnight and brought some packages. Susie and I drove to Cape May while Richard joined Kent on Destiny for the trip. In Cape May we hunkered down for the arrival of hurricane Hanna, which fortunately was a non-event.

Leaving Cape May we headed up the Delaware River, along with many large ships to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. The C & D Canal is a much larger version of the Cape Cod Canal. You have to time your passage to the currents, and the scenery is not very interesting. We anchored overnight in Engineer’s Cove at Chesapeake City about two thirds of the way through the canal. The next day we exited the canal into Chesapeake Bay and then to Havre de Grace, MD at the mouth of the Susquehanna River through a thunder and lightning storm. We were met there by a representative of Ocean Options to give us an estimate on repair/replacement of our refrigeration which had died about the time we were in Atlantic City. It turned out to be replace not repair, and the work could not be scheduled for another two weeks in Annapolis.

So, we worked our way down the Chesapeake to Annapolis visiting numerous rivers and harbors. We traveled down the Sassafrass River to Georgetown, M.D. (where Susie and Richard once again met us with packages) and then had a lumpy trip to Rock Hall, M.D. where we spent two nights and attended the local Chicken Neckers Festival. An explanation of that event is best saved for telling in person. From Rock Hall on the Eastern Maryland shore we crossed the Chesapeake to an anchorage off Dobbins Island at the Magothy River.

By this time, we had been moving the boat almost daily and when we anchored just off the Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s on the Western M.D. shore where we chilled for three nights before heading back toward Annapolis.

At the Seven Seas Cruising Association Gam at Camp Letts on the West River from September 19th to 20th, we met some fellow cruisers and learned a lot.

After several days in the yard for the refrigeration work, we picked up a mooring in Annapolis where we spent a very rainy weekend with our 1500 Rally crew member, Galen Hake and his wife Elizabeth.

On October 1st we started up the Potomac River enroute to Washington. It took two rather boring days to get to Washington, but the view of the Washington Monument from Capital Yacht Club was worth every minute. We walked through the city on a balmy fall night taking in the Lincoln and Jefferson Monuments. Spending time with Kent’s sister Laurie and her children was a highlight of the visit.

As we left Washington on October 6th our final destination was Hampton, Virginia where we would prepare for the Caribbean 1500. The days are getting colder and we are using the cabin heat in the a.m. to take the chill off. After overnights along the Potomac and in Deltaville, VA we arrived in Hampton on October 9th where the Bluewater Yachting Center will be our “home” until we depart for Tortola.

We spent two weeks in Montana resting before returning to Hampton on October 27th to finish final preparations. It has been a hectic but exciting, and we continue to work during the day readying the boat and partying at night with fellow cruisers, many of whom like us are making this trip for the first time. There will be approximately 45 boats making the trip with us once the weather window opens. Our 11/2 departure date came and went and we are now hoping that the November 7th one will hold. In the meantime, we have made some new friends and learned a lot as the excitement and anticipation grows.

We have been blessed with mostly wonderful weather and more amazing sunrises/sunsets than we can capture in words or pictures. We are so grateful to have this opportunity, and hope that we can share this adventure with you, in person as well as on line.

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